Page last updated at 18:37 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 19:37 UK

Asbo OAP banned from her home


Dorothy Evans has been banned from her home by a judge

An 82-year-old pensioner must move from her home of 41 years after being handed a second Asbo banning her from it and surrounding roads for five years.

Dorothy Evans was found guilty on two counts of breaching an Asbo imposed on her to prevent her from harassing neighbours in Abergavenny, south Wales.

A jury at Cardiff Crown Court found her not guilty of eight other counts of breaching her first Asbo.

Evans was also given a nine month jail term suspended for two years.

She had denied 10 breaches of her Asbo which was served in 2005 and which banned her from causing harassment, alarm or distress to her neighbours.

Judge Nicholas Cooke QC made the new Asbo banning her from the house where she has lived for 41 years "with regret", he said.

I hope you can put this behind you and not bother the courts again
Judge Nicholas Cooke QC

The order bans her from coming within one square mile of the house she shared with daughter Barbara Thomas, to the north of Abergavenny town centre, with immediate effect.

The judge said the only alternative to the order would be a lengthy prison sentence.

He told her: "I urge you, you ought to change your ways, even at your age, and forget the bitterness and hostility you seem to show to others around you. It does you no good.

"This does not mean that everyone else involved in this was whiter than white, but unfortunately from your point of view it means you have been found to have behaved very badly indeed.

"I hope you can put this behind you and not bother the courts again. If you can't, it will only be your own fault."

Lawyers watched around 90 hours of CCTV recordings as part of the two week trial.

The pensioner has been in a long-running feud with neighbours triggered by a boundary dispute with Gemma and Leon Stafford on one side and a parking row with Angela and Roberto Casa on the other side.

The jury found Evans guilty of breaching her Asbo by harassing the Casa family in September 2007 and by harassing the Stafford family on 5 June this year.

On that occasion, the court heard Evans told next-door neighbour Gemma Stafford that God struck her late father down because she was "living in sin".

She has been given a prison sentence in the past, and it did not deflect her from this kind of behaviour
Judge Nicholas Cooke QC

Judge Cooke told Evans the abuse was "calculated to cause distress".

He said he did not believe a prison sentence would stop Evans reoffending, telling the court: "She is nearly 83 years of age.

"She has been given a prison sentence in the past, and it did not deflect her from this kind of behaviour.

"Common humanity says I should think long and hard before sending her back to prison."

Evans stayed in a nursing home during the trial, but it is not known where she will now live.

Banning her from her home, Judge Cooke said: "I do not do it lightly.

"I have to consider the fact that is her home, and her long-standing home. I bear in mind it's a heavy punishment in itself. Nothing else will bring this offending to an end.

"This is not a time for calling names and being nasty to Mrs Evans. I wish I could do it in some other way, but nothing works.

"It is given as a matter of humanity. Her behaviour in relation to the matters of which she has been convicted is appalling."

He said if she now breached the order, she could be jailed for up to five years.

The judge also restrained Evans from behaving in a threatening, abusive or insulting way to either the Casas or the Staffords.

Home videos

Harry Baker, defending, was not granted the right to appeal the sentence.

During the trial the Staffords said they had seen Mrs Evans and her daughter in a hole digging with various shovels and spades, and hitting the masonry with hammers.

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

However she told the court she got on well with most of her neighbours in Park Crescent.

She blamed her immediate neighbours for water flowing through her garden. She said the Casas has blocked a culvert and the Staffords she said had broken a drainage pipe.

After the case, her neighbour Leon Stafford said: "We're not giving any comment but we're really happy."


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