A CRACK house, described by a police officer as the worst she had ever seen, has been closed down.

Magistrates agreed to the joint police and council request yesterday and just a few hours later the property was boarded up.

The council tenant, Madeleine Aster, did not turn up to Swindon Magistrates' Court and she was nowhere to be seen when the workmen moved in.

The court heard that residents' lives had been made a misery by the drug dealing and prostitution going on at 29 Axbridge Close, in Park South.

The Adver joined the police and council workers at the property yesterday.

There was barely a patch of carpet to be seen for the piles of syringes, rubbish and dirty clothes strewn over the floor.

Upstairs was even worse. The bathroom was almost impossible to get into and once inside it was not a pretty sight.

The bedroom that belonged to Aster's two children before they were taken into care was full of junk, with cuddly toys and a Scalextric set in bits buried under piles of clothes and rubbish.

In Aster's bedroom there was a crack pipe and needles by the blood-splattered mattress.

Giving evidence in court, neighbour Rosemary Ranns said: "There were a lot of people going in and out. Different cars were pulling up.

"Madeleine was outside all the time and she was on her mobile phone and there was a car outside my house where the person actually came out from her house into the car and was doing drugs right outside my house.

"There were taxis pulling up and people were getting out and going into the house, then jumping in the taxi and they would disappear.

"It was at all hours from 6am until late at night.

"It's not very nice. I have got a 10-year-old who actually sees the drugs going on outside my house."

Christopher Grogan, who also lives nearby, said he started to notice more visitors to the street when Aster moved in.

"I also saw situations where there were teenagers, especially a young girl who would come along on her own," he said.

"It varied as to what day of the week it was, towards the weekend it would be two or three times a day.

"It's an obvious cause for concern because the amount of foot traffic has increased.

"The fact that there are teenagers abusing drugs, one doesn't know how they would react so therefore there is an element of fear as to things escalating out of control."

Speaking after the court case, PC Kirsty Wilson said the residents would be pleased to see the back of Aster.

"We are indebted to the residents and the fact that they came forward, especially the two who attended court," said PC Wilson.

"It just goes to show that working together with the community produces positive results and I am sure that as a result of this Axbridge Close will be a much improved area."