Suspended sentence for ‘nightmare neighbour’ who made Seaton pensioner’s life hell

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A neighbour who made life hell for an 88-year-old Seaton woman has been spared jail after he tackled a drink problem.

Noisy neighbour Shaun Harper. Picture: DCP

Noisy neighbour Shaun Harper. Picture: DCP - Credit: Archant

Shaun Harper has agreed to sell the flat in Harbour Road where he played music so loud that his upstairs neighbour could not hear her television because of the din.

When she banged on the floor, he shouted her name up through the ceiling so aggressively that she called the police. They found him drunk in his flat.

Harper has been jailed at least three times in the past for pestering neighbours in Broadclyst and Sidford with noisy video games, music, and anti social behaviour.

Most of his 65 previous convictions are for breaches of ASBOs and harassment of neighbours, although he has also been jailed for making obscene comments to a waitress at a cafe in Sidmouth.

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Harper, 49, now living in Plymouth, admitted breaching a criminal behaviour order (CBO) and was jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court on Monday October 25.

He was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and 30 days of rehabilitation activities and made subject of a two year CBO.

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The judge deferred sentence in August to give Harper a chance to tackle an alcohol problem, which has underpinned all his previous offending.

Suspending the sentence, the judge told him: "I gave you a chance in August and you have complied with all of the requirements. The supervision report says you have made a great deal of progress.

"It says one of the things which has caused you to re-think your behaviour in relation to alcohol is the fact that you had a custodial sentence hanging over you.

"That will continue to provide motivation. You are an intelligent man and you understand that if you keep breaching orders, the sentences will get longer and longer."

Robert Yates, prosecuting, said that in August that the CBO banned Harper from making noise which could be heard in neighbouring properties, but he broke it on the night of June 28.

His upstairs neighbour made a victim statement saying she would move if she could but thought she would be unable to sell her flat because of Harper.

Warren Robinson, defending, said Harper has done everything asked of him and taken advantage of the opportunity that was offered him.

He passed the judge a letter from an estate agent which contained an update on the sale of the flat in Seaton.

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