‘Nightmare neighbour’ who carried out seven-year harassment campaign avoids jail

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‘Nightmare neighbour’ who carried out seven-year harassment campaign avoids jail

A nightmare neighbour who killed a couple's plants and made foul-mouthed threats as part of a seven year harassment campaign has avoided jail for brea

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A nightmare neighbour who killed a couple’s plants and made foul-mouthed threats as part of a seven year harassment campaign has avoided jail for breaching a restraining order, a court has heard.

Barbera Minns, 76, repeatedly terrorised Adele Richards and Gary Authers in a reign of terror that included various acts of nuisance and an attempt to kill their cat with rat poison.

The couple, who kept a harassment diary detailing the frequent attacks, claimed Minns threw dog poo in their garden, blasted loud music, sprayed Ms Richards with a hose, wielding a knife and killed their plants with weedkiller.

Minns was previously given a retraining order and ordered to wear an electronic tag for her behaviour. But she was back in Truro Crown Court on Friday for four breaches of the restraining order.

The pensioner admitted breaching the order and was given a six-month suspended sentence for her latest offending. The judge said at her hearing that Minns’ complex needs should be addressed by adult social care teams in the community.

Barbera Minns, 76, (pictured) killed a couple's plants and made foul-mouthed threats as part of a seven year harassment campaign

Barbera Minns, 76, (pictured) killed a couple's plants and made foul-mouthed threats as part of a seven year harassment campaign

Barbera Minns, 76, (pictured) killed a couple’s plants and made foul-mouthed threats as part of a seven year harassment campaign

She repeatedly terrorised Adele Richards (left) and Gary Authers (right) in a reign of terror that included chucking stones at their vehicles, throwing dog poo into their garden, and an assault of Mr Authers by beating last year

She repeatedly terrorised Adele Richards (left) and Gary Authers (right) in a reign of terror that included chucking stones at their vehicles, throwing dog poo into their garden, and an assault of Mr Authers by beating last year

She repeatedly terrorised Adele Richards (left) and Gary Authers (right) in a reign of terror that included chucking stones at their vehicles, throwing dog poo into their garden, and an assault of Mr Authers by beating last year

Cameras were installed at the couple’s home in Falmouth, Cornwall, to record Minns’ behaviour, leading to her eventual conviction in 2018 where she was given a 36-week suspended sentence. 

A restraining order was previously made against Minns and revised last year and she forced to wear an electronic tag and put under a curfew. 

She was also made the subject of a restraining order preventing her from contacting the couple or entering their property.

But Truro Crown Court heard how the order hadn’t dissuaded the loutish pensioner who continued to terrorise her neighbours.

Her campaign against the couple included chucking stones at their vehicles and an assault of Mr Authers by beating on May 22 last year. 

Over the years, Ms Richards and Mr Authers have collected photographic evidence of vandalism and other intimidating behaviour, including when Minns attempted to poison their cats.

Other threats have included ‘I’ll cut your bloody head off’ and a hose being fired into their bathroom window as well as regularly standing and staring at the property. 

In a victim personal statement read out in court in February, Ms Richards said the cost to their lives has been immeasurable. 

She said: ‘We feel extremely frustrated and anxious, we are constantly on edge because Minns is unpredictable.

‘We live in fear as to what Minns may do next and what she has proved to be capable of because of previous incidents.’

The rat poison Minns left outside Adele Richards' cat flap

The rat poison Minns left outside Adele Richards' cat flap

The rat poison Minns left outside Adele Richards’ cat flap

A stick thrown into the couple's garden as part of the seven year harassment campaign

A stick thrown into the couple's garden as part of the seven year harassment campaign

A stick thrown into the couple’s garden as part of the seven year harassment campaign

In the statement, Ms Richards added that she wasn’t sure how much more they could take.

Speaking previously, she also said the years of abuse she and Mr Authers suffered had left her in a constant state of fear.

She said: ‘It really has been hell.’

Speaking previously, Minns denied she had done anything wrong and added: ‘It is the biggest load of rubbish. I’ve been bullied. Anybody who knows me knows I’m nothing like that.

‘I’m normally very gentle, kind.’

She has since admitted breaching the order on four occasions between July 11, 2022, and April 3 this year and was given a six-month suspended sentence.

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