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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK
Asbo for 'hell neighbour' woman
Dorothy Evans leaving court
Dorothy Evans denied trying to dig under her neighbours' wall
A 79-year-old woman dubbed "the original neighbour from hell" has been given a five-year anti-social behaviour order for harassing her new neighbours.

Dorothy Evans growled like a dog and took a sledge hammer to a party wall as part of her campaign, magistrates in Blackwood, south Wales, heard.

She had denied harassment and criminal damage but had continued a boundary dispute, the court was told.

Evans, of Abergavenny, was also fined 300 and ordered to pay 300 costs.

The court was told the former GI bride, who is partly deaf and has heart trouble, was back in court for "ranting, raving and being uncivil" to her new neighbours, Leon and Gemma Stafford, magistrates were told.

The court heard that the Staffords' lives had been made a misery after moving next door to Evans, into what they thought was their "dream home".

Mr Stafford said the couple had known that there had been a disagreement between Evans and the previous owner of their property, but thought it had been a personal matter and not one based on a boundary dispute.

They had tried and failed to make a fresh start with her, he told the court, by taking round a bunch of flowers to introduce themselves the day after they moved in.

'Misery'

But instead they had endured a lengthy rant from Evans about the previous owner of their house over a boundary wall which she claimed had taken six inches from her garden, the court heard.

Evans also claimed a garden pond on the Staffords' side created drainage problems for her property.

Germma Stafford
New neighbour Mrs Stafford hoped for a fresh start

On Friday, Phillip Morris, prosecuting, said: "There followed a series of events whereby Mrs Evans set out to make the Staffords' lives difficult and in essence a misery."

He said Evans hit her side of the wall with a hammer just inches away from the head of Mrs Stafford's father-in-law.

The pensioner also dug a trench along the boundary between the two houses and regularly dug away at her neighbours' garden, he claimed

And she shook her fist in neighbour Mrs Stafford's face and poked her Mr Stafford in the chest during a series of confrontations.

Evans, who has lived in the same house for 54 years, denied one count of harassment and one count of criminal damage to property last year.

She denied shouting at the Staffords or trying to undermine the garden wall.

'Evasive' evidence

Terry Vaux, defending, said there had been no evidence of criminal damage and the dispute between his client and the Staffords belonged in the civil court.

But the Chairman of the bench, Paul Wilkinson, said Evans had been "evasive" in her evidence.

He imposed an anti-social behaviour order and fined her 300 with 300 costs.

In 2004, Evans failed in an Appeal Court bid to overturn a conviction for breaching a restraining order imposed in 1999 when she was convicted of harassing another neighbour

In 2001, a judge at Cardiff Crown Court dubbed her the "original neighbour from hell" and gave her a nine-month suspended prison sentence after she was found guilty of seven charges of breaching the 1999 order.




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