Family services seek witnesses to bullied Illawarra girl

Sophie Mason with her 15-year-old daughter Faith. Picture: ADAM McLEAN
Sophie Mason with her 15-year-old daughter Faith. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

The Department of Family and Community Services has called on witnesses to antisocial activity in a public housing neighbourhood at Farmborough Heights to report the incidents to authorities.

The department issued the call after neighbourhood mother Sophie Mason crowd sourced funding to build a fence around her Warrah Place home as protection against area vandals and bullies who throw missiles and taunt her 15-year-old daughter Faith, who has Down syndrome.

A FACS spokesman said on Wednesday the department "deplores the antisocial behaviour which has caused Sophie and Faith Mason such distress".

"It is very unfortunate that this family is the subject of such incidents and FACS strongly urges any member of the community who can provide evidence of criminal or antisocial activity to report it to the Police and Housing NSW so that appropriate action can be taken," the spokesman said.

"We particularly urge this in the case of the Mason family.

"We work closely with the NSW Police, where the exchange of information between the two agencies enables appropriate action [such as the laying of criminal charges or the placing of court restraint orders] to be taken when criminal or nuisance behaviour can be proven."

The family's appeal prompted $4800 in donations from 171 people in five days, eclipsing Miss Mason's original goal of raising $700 for fencing materials and plants.

The mother of four took to crowd sourcing after her area Department of Housing office refused to build the structure.

The department spokesman said although Miss Mason called at a FACS office last year, the department had yet to receive a formal request for property boundary fencing from her but would welcome the opportunity to provide advice.


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