Pensioner given suspended sentence for harassmant campaign


A Leicestershire pensioner has been made the subject of a suspended sentence for subjecting her neighbours to a sustained campaign of abuse and harassment, offences described by CPS District Crown Prosecutor Nigel Chapman as 'disgusting and unnecessary'.

Ethel Watkins, from Melton Mowbray, pleaded guilty to harassment at Loughborough Magistrates Court on 25 July 2012, for continually abusing her neighbours and causing considerable distress. She was fined £900, ordered to pay £200 compensation and made subject to a five-year restraining order preventing her from contacting her victims, either directly or indirectly.

However, she breached this restraining order the day after it was imposed, continuing her abusive behaviour. She was tried for the breach of her restraining order at Loughborough Magistrates Court, and found guilty on 18 December. On 20 March, she was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to the victims.

Nigel Chapman, District Crown Prosecutor for the Leicestershire Magistrates Court team said: "Every effort has been made by the police, the CPS and the courts to deter Ethel Watkins from her disgusting and unnecessary abuse, but she has continued undeterred. Breaching a court order is a very serious matter and the sentence handed down today reflects the impact of her behaviour on her victims. Suspending the sentence for two years offers the most protection to her victims, as if she offends at all during that period she may find herself in custody."