Doncaster man jailed for tormenting and threatening to stab neighbour
'I've been living in a nightmare' - those are the heartbreaking words of a retired Doncaster woman, whose nuisance neighbour has finally been jailed after he spent months tormenting and threatening to stab her.
Up until Mark Whitehead moved until her block of flats in Grasmere Road, Carcroft in November last year, his 58-year-old victim had peacefully lived there for more than 20 years, Sheffield Crown Court was told.
Whitehead, now of Abbey View Road, Woodseats, Sheffield, lived directly above the woman and prosecutor Neil Coxon told the court how on March 18 this year, the 49-year-old began shouting and swearing at her through the floor.
He said: "The defendant started chanting a football chant with the words 'you're dead, and you know you are. You're dead and you know you are.
In addition to also shouting derogatory things about her appearance, Whitehead then started telling the woman: 'I'm going to come downstairs and stab you'.
Mr Coxon said the woman was extremely frightened of Whitehead and believed him 'capable of carrying out his threats'.
The woman, who said her chance of a peaceful early retirement had been ruined by Whitehead, called the police and he was arrested and subsequently charged with affray in relation to the incident.
After admitting to the offence, on March 27 Whitehead was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and a restraining order was also taken out which prevented him from contacting his victim.
Despite this, just two days later Whitehead began tormenting his victim again - this time standing outside the window of her ground-floor bathroom, calling her names and making more threats as well as insensitive jokes about her brother.
Mr Coxon said: "A neighbour went past, and was so concerned that she called the police.
"She said that she was worried about the complainant, she noticed that her health had been deteriorating since the defendant moved in."
When the police arrived Mr Coxon said Whitehead refused to go quietly, threatening to stab a police officer and his family and even made reference to Raoal Moat, who shot a police officer and two others in 2010.
In a victim statement read out in court, Whitehead's victim said he had been tormenting her for months.
She said: "The last five months for me are what I imagine living in a nightmare is like.
"The whole experience has caused me physical and emotional trauma."
Whitehead was evicted from the property as a result of the two police incidents. He pleaded guilty to one count of affray and another of breaching of a restraining order at an earlier hearing.
Recorder Ray Singh sentenced Whitehead to 15 months in prison, and activated three months of the suspended sentence, bringing the total to 18 months in prison.
He said: "Your behaviour has been appalling and abysmal.
"She [the complainant] is now on anti-depressant tablets. She fears for her safety, her life has been made unbearable."
Recorder Singh issued Whitehead with another restraining order, banning him from contacting or going within 100 metres of his victim indefinitely.