Neighbour from hell is warned of jail

A COUPLE who have suffered for years at the hands of neighbour from hell Jennifer Goodchild, today fear their plight is not over despite a warning from a Judge that she could be jailed.

A COUPLE who have suffered for years at the hands of neighbour from hell Jennifer Goodchild, today fear their plight is not over despite a warning from a Judge that she could be jailed.

Goodchild, 67, who subjected her neighbours, Mandy and Stephen Starling, to a ten-year torrent of torment, was found guilty of breaching a restraining order eight times.

Although she will not be sentenced until October Judge Nicholas Beddard at Ipswich Crown Court warned Goodchild she could face jail if she did not change her behaviour.

During the hearing at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, it was heard that Goodchild had persistently blocked in Mr Starling's van with a large metal drum on their shared driveway and that she had poured urine on their plants.


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The couple, who installed CCTV cameras to overlook their home in Aldis Avenue, Stowmarket, also claimed the elderly woman damaged the van by leaning a bike against it.

A jury took just an hour and 45 minutes yesterday to find Goodchild guilty of breaking the restraining order imposed by Haverhill and Sudbury magistrates following a conviction for harassment in October last year.

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But despite her disregard for authority, Goodchild has been allowed to return home until her situation is assessed in October.

Reacting to the verdict, Mrs Starling, 35, said: "I just don't think it will ever stop. She will be more sneaky and I think she will do things more carefully where there isn't any CCTV evidence.

"I was cross (on the first day of the trial) because we were made to look like criminals when in fact we were the victims."

When asked whether the outcome would improve their way of life, she replied: "To be honest I don't know it will."

Her husband added: "We still have the CCTV camera going just in case. We are not going to drop our guard because I don't think she will give up lightly. But hopefully we can stop twitching at the slightest noise."

Mr Starling remained slightly more upbeat, saying that Goodchild's ordeal in court may have given her a stern lesson.

"I am very pleased with the decision obviously because it has been going on for a long time," he said.

"She hasn't really taken much notice of authority over the years but then again, in the past, she hasn't been dealt with hard enough.

"Now she will be getting the message that she can't get away with this. We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel."

The couple also told of their shock and anger when Goodchild surprisingly produced photographs of injuries she claimed were caused when Mr Starling assaulted her.

In court, Mr Starling insisted he had not hit her, saying she had fallen off her bicycle.

Looking to the future, Mrs Starling added: "We will probably be back in court at some stage. I would not be surprised, but I hope we don't."

Have you suffered from a neighbour from hell? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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