Seaton ‘neighbour from hell’ jailed

Shaun Harper. Picture SUBMITTED

Shaun Harper. Picture SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Judge tells 48-year-old his drunken behaviour was causing mayhem in the community

A neighbour from hell has been jailed for blasting residents in a Seaton with gangsta rap music and then causing mayhem at a nearby hotel.

Shaun Harper has a history of anti-social behaviour and has been jailed repeatedly for drunken abusive behaviour against neighbours or making unwanted advances towards women.

He had only been out jail for a week when police received complaints about him shouting out of his window and playing rap music with offensive lyrics at full volume at 10am.

He left the flat in Norcombe Court, Seaton, before officers arrived and staggered drunkenly into the nearby Premier Inn where he invaded the dining room as families were enjoying a late breakfast.

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He tried to cadge coffee off shocked holidaymakers and shouted and swore before one guest escorted him outside, where he lurched in front of a car and then abused the driver who had to swerve to avoid him.

Harper was in breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order which was imposed after a series of incidents, including one in which he tried to force neighbours in Broadclyst to move out by playing Grand Theft Auto at full volume at 4am.

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He had only just been released after serving half of a 12-month sentence for pestering a waitress and a hairdresser with calls and letters asking for a date. He has convictions for 64 previous offences.

Harper, aged 48, admitted breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order and was jailed for eight months by Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: “You are behaving as if you are a half or a quarter of your age. You know that alcohol makes you behave in pretty demented ways. Until you get help, you are causing mayhem in the community.

“You have breached orders and suspended sentences like a rotating door and seven days after your last release you became drunk and played offensive music which disturbed your neighbours enough to call the police.

“You caused enormous disturbance at the Premier Inn. The way you behaved in front of children and families, who were no doubt there on their summer holidays, was a disgraceful episode.”

Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said two neighbours called the police at 10 am on August 30 to complain about loud music with offensive lyrics and noise from Harper shouting out of his window.

He left the flat and went to the Premier Inn where the manageress called the police because he refused to leave and was wandering around the dining room swearing and being sexually abusive in front of families with children.

He was escorted out by a worried guest and then walked straight into the path of a driver, who had to swerve to avoid him. Harper then made a shooting gesture at the driver before going home and putting on the music again.

He used the N word towards both the driver and police, although all were white.

Warren Robinson, defending, said Harper ‘is his own worst enemy’ but knows he must overcome his alcohol problem and is keen to work with the probation service in the future.

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