Obsessed man’s torment reign

Wigan And Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan And Leigh Magistrates' Court
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A Wigan man flung dog excrement into his next door neighbour’s garden and made obscene gestures at her CCTV cameras during a harassment campaign.

Paul Hughes admitted a catalogue of unacceptable behaviour over several months against Andrea Sudworth at Wigan Magistrates’ Court.

He even continued his campaign of intimidation towards Ms Sudworth, who lives with her elderly mother, just hours after the police visited to caution him.

The court heard the 56-year-old of Crescent Avenue, Ashton, became convinced Ms Sudworth’s dogs were going to jump the fence and “get him,” leading to his becoming “obsessed” with the animals, prosecutor Steve Woodman said.

On one occasion he found dog mess in his back garden and immediately hurled it over the fence into Ms Sudworth’s garden.

He was caught on CCTV cameras peering up her driveway, walking up it towards her house in the early hours of the morning and shining lights from his garden into the bedrooms of neighbouring properties.

Mr Woodman said the dog excrement incident was the final straw for the victims of Hughes’ harassment and police gave him a notice warning of his conduct on July 24.

But later that same day he was once again caught on CCTV leaning into her garden with a broom, which he was using to push a bird table over.

Brazen Hughes was even waving at the camera and sticking two fingers up at it.

Defending, Martin Jones said there were long-running and serious issues between the two households and Hughes objected to the presence of CCTV cameras.

However, Mr Jones said his client was aware the problems were no excuse for his behaviour and bitterly regrets his actions.

The magistrates gave Hughes a 12-month community order requiring him to do 80 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay £150 compensation, £85 costs and an £85 victim’s surcharge and given a 12-month restraining order barring him from contacting Ms Sudworth or entering any part of her property.