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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
'Neighbour from hell' OAP jailed
Dorothy Evans arrives at court
The judge said Evans "would not change"

An 81-year-old woman has been jailed for six months for making her neighbours' lives "absolute hell".

Dorothy Evans, from Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, had been convicted of harassment and six breaches of an Asbo.

Judge Roderick Denyer QC said he took into account her age but said she had made her neighbours' lives "a misery".

Evans accused one of being a prostitute and hit her with her stick, and claimed to the woman's young daughter she was a witch and that she would kill her dog.

The judge said: "These offences all involve neighbours of yours. It's abundantly clear you will not change."

He told Evans he accepted there was a "good and positive side" to her nature.

But he added: "It seems to me, despite your age and despite your infirmities, you have deliberately, for a period going on for 10 years, made life a misery for your neighbours."

Judge Roderick Denyer QC
The consequences of your behaviour must be brought home to you
Judge Roderick Denyer QC

He told Evans her sentence would have been "much longer if you had been younger".

The existing Asbo will also remain in place.

He said that Evans' neighbours Angela and Roberto Casa were "eminently decent and reasonable people".

"You made their lives a misery, as was apparent both at the trial and by the witness impact statements".

She had been threatened with arrest after failing to appear in court for sentence on Monday, claiming she was unwell and in hospital having tests.

The judge, who told her she would serve a minimum of three months in jail, also criticised her for failing to cooperate with the probation service.

"In my view, the consequences of your behaviour must be brought home to you."

'Frightening experience'

As sentence was passed, Evans' daughter Barbara Thomas sobbed uncontrollably.

David Webster, defending, asked for her not to be sent to prison, saying she had a "fear" of going to jail.

"There is no doubt that this is a woman that stands in terror of a prison sentence," he said.

Mr Webster said that a suspended sentence she was given in 2001 was the only thing she had not breached and had been a "good deterrent".

"Send her to prison and the deterrent effect of that will rapidly evaporate," he said.

He also claimed that she was capable of being a good neighbour.

Angela Casa leaving court at an earlier hearing
Mrs Casa said the pensioner made her life 'absolute hell'

"This is a lady who does have another side . There are those who have known her for a long time who are prepared to speak well of her.

He added that she had become "obsessional" about the dispute with the Casas.

In February, the trial heard how Evans had made her neighbours' lives "absolute hell".

She was convicted of offences against her next-door neighbours, the Casas, in Park Crescent between January and June 2006.

The jury heard how Evans had told the couple's 13-year-old daughter she was a witch and would cast a spell on her family and kill her pet dog.

Angela Casa described several neighbourly disputes, including rows over parking and flooding problems.

She claimed the pensioner called her a prostitute and that she tried to run her off the road on several occasions and had hit her with a walking stick.




SEE ALSO
Judge warning to no-show Asbo OAP
16 Apr 07 |  South East Wales
Asbo pensioner's 'witch' threat
21 Feb 07 |  South East Wales

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