79-year-old Leicestershire pensioner jailed for harassing neighbours

A pensioner has been sentenced to jail for making her neighbours lives hell for 16 years.

Kathleen Neal, 79, failed to show up in court after she was caught on CCTV removing a fence panel and pushing over Sue and Keith Brooks’ flower pots.

She was jailed for 28 days for bombarding the couple with nuisance calls, spraying weed-killer on their lawn and even pouring urine on their flowerbeds.

After ignoring a ‘last chance’ offering from the county court in 2018, the pensioner from Castle Donington was summoned back to court on 28 January.

Police issued a warrant for her arrest after she failed to turn up at court. She was sentenced in her absence and was arrested yesterday morning.

The Judge gave a lengthy judgment stating that he was ‘left with the overwhelming impression that Mrs Neal is not taking the injunction seriously’ and that, while the last thing that the court wanted to do was send an elderly woman to prison, there was little else left to do.

Neal was also ordered to pay the council’s legal costs of £4,323.

Neal’s neighbour, Susan Brookes, said: “She has again relentlessly targeted our garden with weed killer, causing criminal damage and using provocative behaviour throughout 2018. No one wants to see an elderly lady go to prison but Mrs Neal has shown no remorse for her actions and only complete disregard and contempt for the court ruling.”

“My husband and I therefore now hope that the shock and shame of serving a short sentence in prison will finally change her ways.”

CCTV captured Neal removing her neighbours fence panel
The pensioner was then seen pushing over her neighbours’ flower pots.

Neal made national headlines in the past when a court heard how she tormented her neighbours by harassing them, trespassing on their property, and deliberately lighting smoky bonfires in her garden, as well as her trademark weedkiller-spraying tactics.

The catalogue of anti-social behaviour included a campaign of silent phone calls made from an unregistered ‘pay as you go’ mobile phone that had been ongoing for a number of years.

Inspector Richard Jackson said: “No-one should live in fear of their neighbour and unfortunately Neal has repeatedly refused to put a stop to her campaign of harassment and abide by the injunction.”

“This left no other option but to go back to court as part of the legal process and as a very last resort. It is our hope that this sentence will finally put a stop to the behaviour which has blighted one family’s lives for some considerable time.”