Page last updated at 18:52 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Asbo woman, 83, allowed back home

Dorothy Evans
Dorothy Evans pictured in Cardiff at a previous hearing

An 83-year-old woman once described by a judge as a "neighbour from hell" has won an appeal against an order banning her from living in her home.

But Dorothy Evans was put under a curfew and told any more harassment of her neighbours in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, could lead to prison.

She had been banned from her home in September for breaching her Asbo.

The Court of Appeal has now said she can leave the house only between 10am - 3pm, and cannot enter her back garden.

Evans had been banned from her home in Park Crescent after she was convicted of two breaches of her Asbo (Anti-social behaviour order) by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court.

She had also been sentenced to 36 weeks' imprisonment, which was suspended for two years.

If you behave again to your neighbours as you have before then first you are going to go to prison, no matter how old you are, and secondly you are likely to be thrown out of the house
Lord Justice Hughes

She sat in her wheelchair for the appeal in London.

The hearing was solely in relation to an order excluding her from her home of 43 years.

Lord Justice Hughes, Mr Justice Plender and the Recorder of Brighton and Hove, Judge Richard Brown, decided she should be allowed to go back to her house, which she shares with her daughter Barbara Thomas, but imposed a curfew on her.

They ordered that when she is in Abergavenny she must not leave the house except between 10am and 3pm, and must at no time enter her back garden.

Judge Brown, giving the ruling of the court, said: "We do take the view that an order preventing this appellant from actually living in her own home is not in fact at this stage necessary".

But he stressed that any further breaches "will almost certainly lead to imprisonment" and any future court may have no option but to prevent her from going anywhere near her home.

He said all citizens had rights and freedoms, but also responsibilities, and Evans's responsibility was to be a "decent and law-abiding neighbour".

He said that there had been many disputes with neighbours on both sides over boundaries and water coming onto her land - those disputes had been inherited by families who had bought the houses next door over the years.

Addressing Evans, who has previously been sent to jail over her conduct towards her neighbours, Lord Justice Hughes said that she must now behave in a "civilised manner" and emphasised that the suspended sentence remained in force.

He said: "If you behave again to your neighbours as you have before then first you are going to go to prison, no matter how old you are, and secondly you are likely to be thrown out of the house".

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