THE headlines were uncompromising.
“Estate is like a nastier Beirut” and “A real-life version of TV’s Shameless” the tabloids screamed.
With the media camped out on Moorside Road, Dewsbury Moor, much was said about life on the West Yorkshire council estate which nine-year-old Shannon Matthews once called home.
The sprawling Moorside estate is a suburb of Dewsbury, which has a population of more than 50,000.
Though parts of the town are affluent, Dewsbury Moor is classed among the most deprived areas in the UK.
Piles of rubbish in gardens and unemployed residents walking the streets in their pyjamas fuelled condemnation of an area said to represent the dark underbelly of England’s working class.
So how do people who live there feel about being branded the “Shameless” estate?
“Everybody in the country now knows Dewsbury,” said Mel Nelson, 43, as she tidied the front garden of her home in Moorside Road.
“It’s not Dewsbury near Leeds any more, it’s Dewsbury where Shannon Matthews lived.
Miss Nelson, who has lived in the street for five years with her seven-year-old daughter, said she did not deny there were problems in the area.
But there was also much which was positive on the estate, such as the trips and activities organised for children by the Moorside Tenants’ Association.
“My daughter goes to one of the local schools. It’s quite a nice school, very active in the community,” she said.
“The parents there have been saying ‘oh, it must be awful living there’ but it’s no worse than any other estate.”
In Moorside Place, pensioners tended to their gardens, clipped the grass and potted up plants.
Shannon Matthews’ former home, now boarded up, is visible, but the quiet cul-de-sac of bungalows cuts a contrasting picture to its now infamous neighbouring street.
One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It isn’t the Shameless estate ... there are some lovely folk up here.”