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Woman accused of harassing her neighbours in Bruisyard over land boundary dispute appeals guilty verdict

PUBLISHED: 19:00 10 October 2017 | UPDATED: 19:00 10 October 2017

Maria Langlois. Picture: ARCHANT

Maria Langlois. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A woman accused of berating her neighbours over a four month period over a land boundary dispute has appeared in court at her appeal.

Maria Langlois, 59, of Church Yard Bruisyard, near Saxmundham, was found guilty of harassment and criminal damage following a two-day trial at South East Magistrates’ Court in January and handed a two-and-a-half year conditional discharge and a restraining order of the same length not to contact her neighbours.

Yesterday, at an appeal hearing at Ipswich Crown Court, she claimed the couple living next door, vets Jeremy and Victoria Holland-Howes, had made up the allegations so she would be evicted as a tenant from her Flagship Housing home, allowing her neighbours to buy a disputed strip of land between their properties.

Following a county court case in May 2013, Langlois had been allowed to keep possession of the land but was later accused of encroaching onto Mr and Mrs Holland-Howes’ property.

Another civil case followed and a surveyor was appointed to mark out the boundary between their properties.

However, the couple claim Langlois would not let the decision rest and began harassing them over a four-month period, from July 2 to November 4 last year, including damaging part of the new boundary fence.

Mrs Holland-Howes said: “Shouting and screaming was an every day event at the time.

“She insulted me, my husband and my children constantly.

“It has had a huge effect on me, I have become anxious - I think about it every day.”

The court heard claims that Langlois had piled up junk against her side of the fence and has stood on a heap of rubbish to harass and film Mr Holland-Howes on her tablet.

Mr Holland-Howes said: “I am very upset by it.

“It has made my life quite a misery.”

Langlois denied harassing the Holland-Howes saying she felt harassed herself.

She said she did not know how the rubbish became piled up against the fence, suggesting the couple had done it to blame it on her, and denied berating and harassing them.

A decision on the appeal will be announced by Judge Martyn Levett tomorrow morning.

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