A foul-mouthed woman who threatened and racially abused her next-door neighbours for over a year has narrowly been spared from a prison sentence.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Monday, June 13, how Emma O’Connor, 38, was found guilty of harassment, harassment with fear of violence, and two counts of racially aggravated harassment after using vulgar language and insults towards neighbours Adrian and Sally Fadzilah.
District Judge Andrew Davison said: “They were appalling offences. This is conduct of a persistent and pro-longed nature causing serious harassment to Mr and Mrs Fadzilah in their own home and there was no where for them to have peace.”
O’Connor’s charges outlined that she had committed harassment against Mrs Fadzilah involving shouting insults through the wall of her former home on North Road, Calow, Chesterfield, of a sexual nature urging Mrs Fadzilah to kill herself and that Mrs Fadzilah was a failure. O’Connor also made references to a gun and shooting “that next door neighbour”.
The defendant, now of Brimington, Chesterfield, also committed harassment with fear of violence after she made threats to kill Mrs Fadzilah.
O’Connor also committed two counts of racially aggravated harassment against Mr Fadzilah by shouting insults through the wall with Hitler and terrorist references and racial abuse.
The defendant was found guilty, after a trial, of the four offences which were committed between August, 2015, and October, 2016.
Defence solicitor John Wilford said O’Connor is now living with her father temporarily and is due to be evicted from her property by Rykneld Homes.
He added that jobless O’Connor has undergone a psychiatric assessment and pre-sentence report and she has issues which should go towards mitigation in sentencing and she is also willing to co-operate with the probation service.
District Judge Andrew Davison said that without considering a psychiatric report and O’Connor’s personal difficulties she would have faced a lengthy custodial sentence.
However, he sentenced her to 48 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a 25 day probation service programme.
He also imposed an indefinite restraining order banning O’Connor from contacting Mr and Mrs Fadzilah and from entering North Road, Calow. The defendant was also ordered to pay £615 in costs and a victim surcharge.
Mr Davison said he was “extremely disappointed” with Rykneld Homes and criticised the housing management group for not acting more quickly and evicting O’Connor.
He said: “They sent out letters, followed policies and took no action afterwards. Had they taken steps to evict Miss O’Connor at an earlier stage there would have been a lessening of the suffering for Mr and Mrs Fadzilah and it could have reduced and possibly even removed the criminal proceedings with civil options made earlier.”