Couple avoid jail for campaign of harassment against neighbour
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A couple who sprayed abuse on a neighbour’s front door and threw rubbish in her garden during a campaign of harassment have been given suspended prison sentences.
Sentencing Craig Theobald and Leanne Thompson, Judge David Pugh said they had used “vile and hurtful” racial abuse during a vendetta after falling out with the neighbour - who had been a close friend.
He said that while Thompson’s harassment had mainly taken the form of verbal abuse and text messages, Theobald had sprayed insults on the victim’s door.
Theobald, 36, of Kent Road, Stowmarket, and Thompson, 30, of the same address, admitted racially aggravated harassment.
Thoebald was given a 36-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, a Thinking Skills programme, a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 180 hours unpaid work.
Thompson was given a 21-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Both defendants were banned from contacting the victim for five years.
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The court heard that the victim had also appeared in court and was given a restraining order.
Brian Reece, prosecuting, said the racially aggravated harassment had taken place between September 11 and September 27, 2018, after Theobald and Thompson had fallen out with a neighbour, who had been a good friend, during a drunken row.
He said that during the vendetta that followed, abuse had been sprayed on the neighbour’s front door and rubbish tipped in her garden.
She was sent texts calling her a “slut” and was called racist names. “The “N” word was shouted from an open window,” Mr Reece said.
He said the victim had also seen a golliwog teddy in a window of the defendants’ home.
Michael Pollington, for Theobald, said his client had made poor decisions and was ashamed of his behaviour.
Jude Durr, for Thompson, said she was a mother-of-three and had not reoffended since the offence in 2018.
He said his client had sent abusive texts and called the victim racist names during a vendetta following the initial disagreement.
He said she had acted in the way she did to hurt the victim and the offence wasn’t a manifestation of deep-seated racism.