'Hamlet of horrors' woman gets Asbo
Thursday May 18, 2006
A retired businesswoman accused of turning a Yorkshire village into a "hamlet of horrors" was given an anti-social behaviour order by Calderdale magistrates court today.
Neighbours in the village of Bottomley, near Huddersfield accused 57-year-old Jeanne Wilding of a "rampaging campaign of antisocial behaviour, acts of hatred and acts of pure evil" since she moved there in 2002.
The dispute initially centred around an unruly clematis plant, but prosecutors claim that Ms Wilding is responsible for 250 alleged incidents over 16 months, including dumping dead animals, rubbish, dog faeces, glass and nails around the village, damaging neighbours' cars, and plying local children with alcohol.
She has also been accused of booby-trapping paint pots, dazzling neighbours' homes with floodlights, throwing compost at her neighbours and assaulting them with her wheelbarrow.
The prosecutor James Ward told the court that Ms Wilding was a "professional trouble-causer" and said the order was needed "to protect the community".
"Like all hamlets in Agatha Christie's books and the village of Midsomer, something evil arrives and misery descends," he said.
"Bottomley was no exception. In 2002, Jeanne Wilding arrived as a retired businesswoman. From then on, Bottomley became the hamlet of horrors and the hamlet from hell."
He said that three neighbours had needed treatment for depression after Ms Wilding arrived in the village, and that she was feuding with 15 different people in the area.
Last August she was fined £250 for pruning back her neighbours' clematis, which was overhanging her driveway.
An interim Asbo already prevented her from contacting her neighbours, Nigel and Penny Pratt and Paul and Nicola Cryer, from dumping rubbish in communal areas of the village and from pointing surveillance cameras at her neighbours' houses.
Ms Wilding says that she is the victim of a witch-hunt because of her dispute with the local council and arguments with villagers.
Her neighbours claim that one element of her aggressive behaviour is the playing of Carl Orff's choral work Carmina Burana. The prosecution argued that she intended to upset her neighbours because the work is about the "rape, pillage, and trashing of villages".
Anyone got a worse neighbour than this??