Lincolnshire family's eight-year ordeal with 'neighbour from hell' ends
A FAMILY are delighted to have their lives back after years of harassment by their next door neighbour.
Carl and Julie Humberstone of Saleby near Alford have thanked the police for their support after eight years of harassment finally came to an end.
Barbara Gail Temple was given a two-year restraining order after she admitted to harassment without violence at Skegness Magistrates Court on January 24.
The order restricts her from making contact in any way with the Humberstone family and from depositing anything on or within the curtilage of their property on Rose Lane.
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As well as the restraining order, Temple was also sentenced to a two year conditional discharge and to pay £85 court costs.
Mr Humberstone said: "To this day, we still genuinely do not know what her problem is.
"When she first bought the property we helped her move in and generally helped her as a neighbour. It was shortly after she moved in that she came round making accusations."
The incidents of harassment then started and progressed to verbal abuse over time.
The family would often find piles of dog dirt near the driver's side door of their car.
They also found plants had been pulled up and laid down, briars placed on the fencing and lots of tea bags and banana peels on the fence and flower bed.
On one occasion they found masses of dead flies thrown onto their drive as well as other things such as thistle and poppy seeds and cooking apples speared onto bamboo.
Whenever they would step outside, they said Temple would often come running out, making a wailing noise or bang on every fence panel.
He said: "These sound like small things but they were happening several times a day, whenever we stepped outside. It was this constant niggling at us which never let up.
"We do think her entire life was devoted to watching us.
"It really has been a living nightmare which has made our lives a misery.
"When the police got involved, we happily went to mediation but she was not willing to attend.
"All we have ever wanted was to live in peace. That is why we moved to this village 19 years ago for the peace and quiet."
The incidents were happening so frequently that the family decided to install a security camera and started reporting incident diaries to police.
The Humberstone family are grateful to PC Jeffrey Wayte from Alford Neighbourhood policing team as well as residents in Saleby for their support.
Mr Humberstone said: "PC Jeffrey Wayte has given us our lives back. He has been amazing.
"He was committed to helping us get our life back. Police are always criticised for not doing enough but that was not the case here."
PC Jeffrey Wayte said the police take all forms of harassment seriously.
He said: "The key to the success in this case was that the police recognised the Humberstones as victims very early on and positive action was taken. We knew from the outset there would be no quick fix due to the legislation.
"The offender was given the opportunity to mend their ways and to engage with police but did not and has now faced the full force of the judicial system with a restraining order given through the court.
"All people have a right to live in peace and tranquillity.
"This was all low level harassment but was criminal activity and it was dealt with as such right from the beginning."