A couple with ten children have been fined over a 'petty' war against their next door neighbour over street parking outside their adjoining terraced h
A couple with ten children have been fined over a ‘petty’ war against their next door neighbour over street parking outside their adjoining terraced homes.
Samina Delaney, 40, and Shahid Iqbal, 38, were charged with harassment after they deliberately parked their family car so close to Natalie Allison’s vehicle she was unable to move it.
During the bitter two-year feud between 2018 and 2020 the pair were also accused of vandalising three large conifer trees belonging to Miss Allison and also of hammering on her front door.
The victim eventually installed CCTV at her property in Radcliffe, near Bury, Greater Manchester, and filmed Iqbal blocking her car on the day residents were required to move their cars from the street by 8am for essential gas and maintenance works.
He also made verbal comments and ‘gestures’ towards his neighbour’s CCTV camera.
Samina Delaney (pictured), 40, and her partner were fined £108 each for harassing their neighbour in a ‘petty’ and ‘childish’ feud that lasted from 2018 to 2020 on a street in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester
The trigger for the feud is not known although the couple claimed police and social services attended their home over false claims their children were being maltreated.
In a statement compiled during the first UK lockdown, Miss Allison said: ‘I am a female living on my own.
‘I have been dealing with constant issues from my neighbours for the last two and a half years that have been causing me a lot of stress and anxiety, to the extent of me being scared to leave my own house, due to being in fear of what I might encounter when I do.
‘I feel completely trapped in my own home – especially in this moment in time more than ever, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘The country is on lockdown, which means I can’t just get away from it all, leave my address and stay somewhere else, because I’m not allowed to.
‘I am isolated from my family and friends who would usually give me that extra reassurance.
‘I have fitted up to date CCTV cameras on my home to help me identify and give me proof who is causing me all this harassment.
‘This has also cost me a lot of money and time.
‘I just want to live a quiet life, being able to live in my home without any issues.’
At Wigan magistrates court Delaney and Iqbal who are now expecting their 11th child were due to face trial charged with harassing Miss Allison between January 21 and May 15 2020, and criminally damaging three large conifer trees in August 2019.
But on the day of trial, the criminal damage charges were withdrawn and they both pleaded guilty to harassment.
They have since erected a high fence between the properties and no reported incidents have happened since.
JPs fined the couple £108 each plus £134 in costs but Sara Moreton, Chair of the bench, told them: ‘This was totally childish behaviour, no other words can describe it.
‘Such pettiness and neighbourhood issues can easily escalate to more serious matters, but this was totally childish.’
Earlier Mr Emmanuel Coniah, prosecuting, said: ‘At the time of the offence both defendants and Mrs Allison were neighbours.
‘On January 21 2020, all residents were required to move their cars from the street by 8am for essential gas and maintenance works.
‘Mr Iqbal has accepted that he obstructed the complainant’s car on the public highway so that she was unable to move her vehicle and was blocked in by his car.
‘The incident was caught on CCTV.
‘Then on May 16, he parked his vehicle outside the complainant’s address, which was caught on CCTV.
‘He then made verbal comments and gestures towards the complainant’s property.
‘There were other individuals there but in terms of Mr Iqbal, he said that is what happened.
Mr Coniah said Delaney accepted helping Iqbal used their family car to block the neighbour’s vehicle and added: ‘She also accepted that on March 31 2020, with others, she called at the complainant’s address and harassed her by shouting and knocking on her door.
‘They have accepted shouting and making gestures, and deliberately blocking her vehicle with their own vehicle.’
In mitigation for Delaney defence lawyer Vic Wozny said: ‘It is true that police and social services had broken into my client’s address because nobody was at home.
‘They were told that the children were being maltreated, which was not the case.’
‘The things Ms Delaney did were not the most heinous.
‘No further comment has been made by the complainant that my client is aware of – certainly not concerning them since May.
‘My client and partner have erected their own CCTV and can watch incidents.
‘They have not had reasons to report anything with that.
‘The complainant has two cameras, upstairs and downstairs. If there had been any further incidents your worships would have heard about it.’
For Iqbal, defence lawyer Kevin Liston said: ‘Parking is often a contentious issue for motorists as people try to park as close to their home as they can.
‘What we have on 21st of January 2020 is an isolated incident of parking a car into close proximity to the complainant’s vehicle on a public highway.
‘It is accepted that his vehicle was parked too close to his neighbour’s vehicle and it was obstructing it. That is the height of the criminality.
Shahid Iqbal (pictured), 38, pled guilty to harassment after being caught on CCTV blocking his neighbour’s car in before making ‘gestures’ at her security camera
‘There’s nothing else for four months. Then on the 16th of the May from the confines of his own property in a non-violent manner, he speaks and gestures towards a camera at her property.
‘In unison, he accepts that would amount to a course of conduct but it is not a case of someone repeatedly telephoning, sending messages, or banging on windows or doors.
‘That is the extent of his criminality. It is a sad truth that many neighbour disputes are a culmination of what might be termed as petty incidents.
‘A greater application of maturity and common sense would avoid involving police, the local authority and courts system being troubled and the issues would be dealt with appropriately.
‘Since May 16 2020 there has been no repetition, everybody has behaved themselves.
‘For 26 months there has been no criminality and no neighbour dispute ongoing.’