Neighbour ordered to sell his home after noise offences

PUBLISHED: 15:21 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:25 22 August 2019

Shaun Harper admitted breaching a criminal behaviour order Exeter Crown Court on August 1. Picture: Archant/Devon and Cornwall Police

Shaun Harper admitted breaching a criminal behaviour order Exeter Crown Court on August 1. Picture: Archant/Devon and Cornwall Police

Archant

A Seaton man has been ordered to sell his home after he made a pensioner's life a misery with loud music.

Shaun Harper made so much noise in his flat in Seaton that his 88-year-old neighbour could not hear her television in the flat upstairs, Exeter Crown Court heard on Thursday (August 22).

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

Harper, aged 49, is banned from disturbing neighbours by a criminal behaviour order (CBO) because he has a long record of noisy anti-social behaviour.

He has already been banned from living in the villages of Broadclyst and Sidford because of his 65 previous convictions, many of which are for breaches of ASBOs and harassment of neighbours.

Now he has been told he must fulfil his promise to sell his flat in Seaton and ordered to live in a bail hostel in Plymouth in the meantime.

Harper, of Harbour Road, Seaton, admitted breaching a CBO and his sentence was deferred for three months by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.

Judge Johnson told Harper he will go to jail for at least a year unless he complies with a series of conditions.

These include living at the Lawson House hostel, addressing his abuse of alcohol, and do his best to sell his flat.

Judge Johnson said: "You have a dreadful record. Time after time you have breached court orders. You have breached this CBO but that is only part of the story.

"You have made your neighbour's life a misery and she regarded herself as a prisoner in her own home."

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

The court heard the victim could hear music from the flat below which was so loud she could not hear her own television. He started shouting her name after she banged on the floor.

The victim said she feared for her safety, took refuge in a neighbour's flat on the same floor, and called the police.

The court heard she was an elderly lady, living on her own, who was so frightened of Harper that she was scared to leave her home.

She 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 agreed to accept help to tackle a drink problem which has led too much of his previous offending.

He has already put his flat on the market and wants to spend more time with his mother in Sidmouth, although he is banned from living there by another CBO.

He said Harper had been watching his own television with the volume too loud, rather than deliberately playing loud music.

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