Woman attacks neighbour

A court hears how a woman broke into her neighbour’s flat and later assaulted him in the street.

A FORMER Honiton woman broke into her neighbour’s flat and five days later assaulted him in the street, a court has heard.

Sharon Kelleher, 50, of The Cedars, Wonford House, Exeter, pleaded guilty to offences of burglary, assault, carrying an offensive weapon, namely a hammer and screwdriver, and causing distress and alarm when she appeared at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.

The court heard that on April 15 the victim, Mark Polkey, was contacted by a neighbour saying the glass on his front door had been broken.

Alison Jordan, prosecuting, said Mr Polkey returned home to find ‘substantial damage’ had been caused to a flat screen television and two computer monitors as well as a glass picture frame.

She told the court that he raised concerns about his neighbour with the police and said the defendant had been harassing him.

On April 20 police received a 999 call from Mr Polkey’s wife Belinda saying her husband had been attacked by their neighbour.

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Miss Jordan told the court that Mr Polkey had left his flat with his daughter to collect a takeaway meal and saw Kelleher smoking a cigarette – she then started shouting abuse at him.

He tried to hurry past the defendant but she grab hold of the sleeves of his jumper.

The court heard Kelleher was carrying a screwdriver in her right hand and a hammer in the other and briefly followed after the victim before returning to her flat.

Miss Jordan said when the defendant was interviewed she gave an account of a hate campaign against her by Mr Polkey and said that she had intended to ‘smack him’.

She also admitted breaking into the Polkey’s flat using a hammer and the prosecution said that when interviewed she appeared to show “no remorse for the damage she caused”.

The court also heard that during the early hours of May 1, Kelleher rang the Polkey’s doorbell claiming to be looking for a friend in their flat.

She was refused entry into the property and said “If you don’t let me in I’ll smash the door through” before police officers arrived.

Miss Jordan said the defendant was previously of “good character”.

Kelleher’s defence said: “How has a lady with no previous convictions so quickly built up a record?

“The answer is she says in her mind that she has been the victim of a period of harassment from Mr Polkey.

“Mr Polkey says quite the opposite.”

He told the court that Kelleher was admitted to Wonford House under the Mental Health Act but said it was “unclear what or if any diagnosis was given”.

Since the offences occured the defendant has voluntarily admitted herself into the specialist unit.

The case has been adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Kelleher has been remanded on unconditional bail until June 21 when she will appear at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court for sentencing.