Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 17:58 UK

Asbo OAP's digging caught on film

Dorothy Evans
Dorothy Evans outside court on Monday

A video of an 82-year-old woman digging a hole between hers and her neighbour's properties because of a boundary dispute has been shown to a jury.

Dorothy Evans, who denies 10 breaches of an Asbo, has been in a long-running feud with neighbours in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.

She was heard on the video to say "God strike her father dead".

Her neighbour, Leon Stafford, told Cardiff Crown Court it was in reference to a "curse" on his wife's late father.

Mrs Evans denies breaching her Asbo, which was served in 2005.

It banned her from causing harassment, alarm or distress to her neighbours.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Mr Stafford told the court that problems with Mrs Evans started the day he and his wife moved into their house in Park Crescent four years ago.

"We went over to deliver some flowers the first day we arrived and I think I was a little bit shocked because I immediately got a rant from Mrs Evans about the previous neighbour, about how the boundary was out of place," he said.

I wanted to make clear that this is not someone hard of hearing, it's someone aggressive and violent
Leon Stafford, neighbour

"It's accurate to say I was pretty overwhelmed with what we had got involved in.

"I would agree the boundary has been disputed by Mrs Evans, but she has not chosen at any time to present any evidence why the boundary is out or how the boundary is out."

He said Mrs Evans had undermined the boundary by digging a large hole under the wall between the two houses at anti-social times of the day and night.

He said that whenever he or his wife challenged Mrs Evans she became rude and abusive.

"I have observed Mrs Evans and her daughter down that hole digging with various shovels and spades, and hitting the masonry with hammers," he said.

Two home videos of Mrs Evans and her daughter Barbara Thomas in the hole were shown to the jury.

Asked by prosecutor Phillip Morris why he made the video, Mr Stafford said: "I wanted to make clear that this is not someone hard of hearing, it's someone aggressive and violent."

In the second video, Mr and Mrs Stafford are heard telling Mrs Evans and her daughter to fill the hole in as it was becoming dangerous.

Mrs Evans is then heard saying: "God strike her father dead."

Mr Stafford said his wife's father was diagnosed with a terminal illness not long after they moved to the house, so they decided to try for a baby and get married straight away to give him a grandchild.

He said his wife got pregnant before the wedding and that Mrs Evans would regularly tell them they were living in sin.

"It was terribly upsetting for my wife," he said.

Mr Stafford added that his father-in-law died not long after the birth of their son.

I have no idea why she hates us so much
Gemma Stafford, neighbour

His wife Gemma Stafford said the pensioner began shouting and screaming outside her house on April 3.

She told the court she went outside to see Mrs Evans because her children were sleeping and she did not want them hearing the pensioner's bad language.

"She was using the F word repeatedly," Mrs Stafford said.

"Herself and her daughter came right up to the gate in front of my face, screaming in my face."

Minutes earlier she had asked Mrs Evans, her daughter and a workman to stop digging under the wall between their gardens as it was damaging her property, she told the court.

"I said: "I just don't want you to damage my property" and she replied saying she had put a curse on my father and that was why he died," she said.

"She then said she had put a curse on my two-year-old son and my husband was going to leave me."

She added: "I said I was going to call the police and she said she would effing kill me."

Mrs Stafford said: "Throughout the whole confrontation she was waving her stick.

"She was so, so angry, venomous in the way she hates me and my husband. I have no idea why she hates us so much. I thought she was going to hit me with her stick."

Mr Morris has already told the jury that Mrs Evans had breached the five year Asbo imposed on her three years ago on 10 occasions between 1 September 2007 and 5 June 2008.

The trial continues.


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