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Abused couple's joy after court ruling

PUBLISHED: 09:51 12 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:49 07 July 2010

A couple who claimed to have been the target of a catalogue of abuse by their neighbour have spoken of their delight after she was found guilty of breaching a restraining order.

A couple who claimed to have been the target of a catalogue of abuse by their neighbour have spoken of their delight after she was found guilty of breaching a restraining order.

Hilary Carling, 56, broke an order, which prevents her from harassing, threatening, intimidating, insulting or abusing neighbours Anthony and Jill Clemow, when she approached Mr Clemow while he was cutting the grass outside his house last June.

Norwich Crown Court heard that Carling, of The Green, Weasenham St Peter, had taunted him calling him a “perjurer”, “liar” and “thief” and had followed him around as he mowed.

A jury of 10 men and two women cleared Carling of two other charges of assaulting Mr and Mrs Clemow with a shooting stick.

After the jury returned their verdict, Carling, who was defending herself, told the court she would be appealing against the decision.

Mr Clemow said: “After a further two years of unrestrained abuse, we are, understandably delighted with today's verdict.

“Having been the target of Mrs Carling's unrelenting, aggressive and malicious behaviour, which has steadily increased to encompass many others within our community, it is with hope that we look forward to a more settled future for ourselves and the village of Weasenham.”

During the trial, the court heard evidence about a long-running dispute between Carling and the Clemows, which started soon after the couple bought the house from Carling's aunt.

Giving evidence about June 5, the day of the grass cutting incident, the Clemows and two neighbours described how Carling emerged from her house and shouted at Mr Clemow while he was cutting his lawn.

They said she had a shooting stick which she had brandished at Mr and Mrs Clemow.

A video was shown to the jury which was alleged to have been shot after the shooting stick incident by neighbour John Adams.

The film showed Carling following Mr Clemow up and down his lawn in an animated fashion before sitting down in her chair outside her house and shouting across at him.

Carling said the incident had never happened and claimed the Clemows had concocted a conspiracy to get her into trouble.

She said she believed the film, which was used as evidence, had not been taken on the day of the incident.

Mr Clemow said: “We are indebted to Norfolk Constabulary in the form of the Safer Neighbourhood Team based at Dereham under the exemplary leadership of Sgt Terry Scott and our friends and neighbours who have stood by us throughout.”

Recorder Guy Ayers told Carling she would be sentenced following a probation report and all sentencing options were open.

Carling declined to comment after the case.


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