A man who subjected his next door neighbours to four years of harassment and broke a restraining order within a day has been temporarily banned from entering Woburn.
During the hate campaign Stephen Aylott, 53, unsettled his neighbours on Eleanor Close, Woburn, by continually slamming doors and windows and by deliberately running his lawnmower every time they went into their garden.
He would also taunt them over their weight by making oinking noises, referring to them as ‘pigs’ and by ripping out weight loss articles from magazines to throw over their fence. The harassment earned Aylott a restraining order in May, and he was ordered to live at his mother’s address in Arlesey until another hearing.
The 53-year-old broke the order less than 24 hours later by jumping in front of his neighbour’s moving car, making a ‘silly face’ and running back inside his home.
Two days later he broke its terms again by banging the back windows of his home as his next door neighbour was in the garden.
At a hearing at Luton Magistrates Court on Thursday Aylott was sentenced only to a community order, which for the next nine months bans him from entering Woburn on weekends and between 5.30pm and 9.30am on weekdays. The intention of the ‘halfway house’ order is to allow the 53-year-old to move out of the Aragon Housing Association bungalow.
Judge Nicholas Leigh-Smith said that banning Aylott from entering Woburn entirely would be a breach of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In a victim impact statement the neighbours said that living next to Aylott was like “being in a Japanese prisoner camp during World War Two, getting water torture every day.” It added: “Since Aylott has gone for the first time we have been able to enjoy our lives, we finally have peace and tranquility. The whole neighbourhood feels the same way.
“He should never have been able to live here in an area with mostly disabled or elderly residents. If Aylott is allowed to return all the time and money spent on this trial would be worth nothing.”
An Aragon spokesperson said: “We work closely with the police and Central Beds Council on cases such as this, with an agreed process in place to ensure we are kept up to date and take action as appropriate.”