Five-year ban for 'Cuckoo of Colindale' who ignored police warnings

By Tim Trew in Local People

A WOMAN known as the “Cuckoo of Colindale” because she would move into the houses of vulnerable residents before taking over their premises for illegal activities has been given a five-year community behaviour order.

The order means that Bonita "Bonnie" McFarland, 50, is banned from Colindale’s Grahame Park Estate for five years.

A persistent thief from petrol stations, she is also banned from entering petrol stations anywhere in the borough of Barnet - in what police believe is the first ban of its kind in the country.

McFarland, of Golders Green, was arrested on Friday after police were “inundated” with information from the public after putting out an appeal in the media as to her whereabouts.

Acting Sergeant Thomas Bolton, of Colindale Police Station, praised the partnership working of the police and the community.

He said: “We’ve been working behind the scenes for several months with the housing associations of those tenants who had been affected.

“When not cuckooing she would often be on The Concourse causing a disturbance. We had tried to warn and help her but she gloated that she would not take notice of any warnings. The Criminal Behaviour Order now means that she can be arrested if seen on the Grahame Park Estate."

The order was issued at Willesden Magistrates’ Court this morning after she was found guilty of shoplifting.

Police say she had already been warned about her conduct in public and was issued with a Community Protection Warning last August.

The order also bans her from being drunk in a public place anywhere in the borough of Barnet and from selling any items without the proper licence.

PC Mark O’Connell said: "Her persistence on targeting petrol stations to steal from despite not being able to drive has been a factor in banning her from any petrol station within Barnet borough - we believe this is a first in the country."

 

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