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Villagers in Portugal accused of ‘sending death threats’ to British family break silence

In a picturesque Portuguese village, a British family’s dream of a peaceful life abroad turned into a nightmare, culminating in allegations of pet killings, death threats, and forced exile.

Lynn and Richard Appleby-Brisco, along with their daughters Emily and Yvie, had initially sought a tranquil existence in the Guarda district, chronicling their journey on the Channel 4 show “Our Wildest Dreams” in 2016.

According to the Appleby-Brisco family, their idyllic aspirations were shattered by a hostile reception from some locals. They alleged a disturbing series of events, including the death of their dog Cu, allegedly attacked by a villager, and the disappearance of their cats Ponyo and Bubbles, along with poisoned goats.

Speaking to The Sun, Lynn Appleby-Brisco recounted confronting a villager about these incidents, only to be met with a chilling response: “We’ve taken your pets and you’re next.”

The situation escalated further when rumours circulated, including allegations of devil-worshiping and prostitution, seemingly triggered by innocuous actions such as planting flowers outside their residence.

However, villagers in Figuerio da Serra have vehemently denied any involvement in the alleged harassment. One resident expressed bewilderment, saying: “None of us have any idea what they are talking about.”

Others, while acknowledging a strained relationship with the family, denied any malicious intent.

Anita Ruigrok, a former friend of the Appleby-Brisco family, attested to their seemingly amicable demeanour during their time in Portugal.

She expressed surprise upon learning of the alleged abuse, emphasising their positive contributions to the community, such as sharing food and homemade goods.

She added that the family always “paid the rent on time”, and they later became good friends after the 2016 episode was filmed in her home, without their prior knowledge.

She said: “Everything seemed fine. I knew she was homeschooling her daughters. She was upset that some parents would not let her daughters play with their children. They criticised them for having poor hygiene, but I thought the girls were fine.”

She added: “I really liked her and she was a good person. She would make cakes and give them to people who had no food as well as fruit from her land.

“Their home and land is now on sale for around 40,000 Euros as I understand it, but I don’t know how they can expect to sell it when they are no longer here.”

Despite the upheaval, the Appleby-Brisco family has returned to their native Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, facing financial strain and emotional distress.

They have now turned to crowdfunding to alleviate their hardships, citing their initial aspirations of building a sustainable life abroad.


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