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Octogenarian 'neighbour from hell' gets six months

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The 81-year-old "neighbour from hell" who was found guilty of harrassment and six breaches of an Asbo after making her neighbours' lives "a misery" has been jailed for six months, the BBC reports.

Dorothy Evans, of Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, failed to appear in court yesterday for sentencing, "claiming she was unwell and in hospital having tests". The judge threatened to issue a warrant for her arrest and, having finally persuaded her to face justice, duly sentenced her to incarceration.

At a trial in February, the court heard that between January and June 2006, Evans had made the lives of Angela and Roberto Casa "absolute hell". On one occassion, Evans "told the Casas' 13-year-old daughter she was a witch and would cast a spell on her family and kill her pet dog".

Angela Casa further "claimed the pensioner called her a prostitute and also that she tried to run her off the road on several occasions and had hit her with a walking stick".

Jailing her for six months, Judge Roderick Denyer QC said: "These offences all involve neighbours of yours. It's abundantly clear you will not change. I accept that there is a good and positive side to your nature but it seems to be that in spite of your age and infirmities that you have, for going on for 10 years, made life a misery for your neighbours."

Evans will serve at least three months, Denyer said. Her Asbo will also remain in force.

David Webster, defending, requested that Evans be spared a custodial sentence, saying saying his client had a "fear" of going to jail. He said: "There is no doubt that this is a woman that stands in terror of a prison sentence."

Webster noted that a suspended sentence handed down to Evans in 2001 "was the only thing she had not breached" and was therefore a "good deterrent". He insisted: "Send her to prison and the deterrent effect of that will rapidly evaporate." ®

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