'Harassing' neighbours accused of putting up barbed wire and dolls on fence in year-long campaign

Sandra Durdin, 58, and Trevor Dempsey, 62 from Chingford, leave Thames Magistrates' Court in 2021
Sandra Durdin, 58, and Trevor Dempsey, 62 from Chingford, leave Thames Magistrates' Court after an earlier hearing. Credit: PA

A former couple drenched their neighbour’s property and placed clowns, dolls and barbed wire on their fence during a year-long campaign of harassment, a court heard on Monday.

Sandra Durdin, 58, and ex-partner Trevor Dempsey, 63, allegedly parked vehicles on next door neighbour Joanne Shreeves’ drive in Chingford, east London.

The pair were also accused of flooding Ms Shreeves’ alleyway in a long-running feud between June 2020 and August 2021.

They were due to stand trial at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on Monday after each denying a charge of harassment.

However Phil Emery, defending Dempsey, said Durdin had contracted Covid and was unable to turn up.

Durdin has also pleaded not guilty to criminal damage in relation to an allegation of destroying a £1,350 CCTV camera belonging to Ms Shreeves, who had been the pair’s neighbour for around four decades.

Prosecutor Lucy McGarr said the allegations against the former couple included "putting up clowns and dolls on (their neighbour’s) fence" and "spraying hose water onto their house".

The case was described to the hearing as "messy to say the least" and adjourned for a review ahead of a further hearing in May at Thames Magistrates’ Court.

District Judge Jane McIvor directed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to decide "whether it is in the public interest to continue" with proceedings ahead of that date.

Dempsey, who sat in the dock on Monday wearing a dark suit, spoke to confirm his details and tell the court he has now separated from Durdin.

The defendants, both of whom are on bail, have moved to Ramsgate, a previous hearing was told. They will not be required to attend court on May 3.