Nightmare neighbour goes back home

A NEIGHBOUR from hell is free to continue making life miserable for Stowmarket families today after spending just one night in jail.Residents of Cherry Tree Road have reacted angrily to the sentence handed out after a torrent of abuse for more than a year.

A NEIGHBOUR from hell is free to continue making life miserable for Stowmarket families today after spending just one night in jail.

Residents of Cherry Tree Road have reacted angrily to the sentence handed out after a torrent of abuse for more than a year.

Ian Hurton subjected one neighbour to a furious rant and threatened to "get her kids and kill her dogs".

But today Hurton, who pleaded guilty at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court yesterday to using threatening behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence, was free to return home having served his one night sentence.

Neighbour Gennavene Trowbridge said: "I'm gobsmacked. I just can't work out why he has been allowed to get away with it when so many people made statements against him.

"Everyone in the street is fuming and we don't know what to do next.

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"We're afraid the abuse won't stop and the courts won't help us.

"People are actually considering moving homes to get away from him and I can't believe it's been allowed to get to that stage.

Last week The Evening Star reported how a group of neighbours took a mass protest to the police station in a bid to have Hurton's behaviour brought under control.

Miss Trowbridge said: "Our lives have been made a misery for the past 15 months and we want it to stop."

The court heard how 41-year-old Hurton was arguing with his partner at his home just after midnight on Thursday morning.

When neighbour Janet Wilden heard shouting she went outside and saw Hurton leave his house. He then directed his rage at her shouting threats and abuse.

Kevin Lowson, prosecuting, read from a Mrs Wilden's statement.

He said: "Mr Hurton appeared to be drunk and screwed up his face with aggression as he told Mrs Wilden that he was going to get her kids and kill her dogs. He said he was going to get a broom handle and wrap it round her neck."

Miss Wilden's statement said Hurton called her a whore and accused her of sleeping with the milkman.

She said the abuse went on for about 30 minutes towards the woman who is on sick leave from work due to stress.

Mr Lowson also told the court that he had similar statements from other residents.

David Stewart, mitigating for Hurton, said: "It was an argument in Hurton's own house, nothing to do with the neighbours but he accepts that strong language was used when the police arrived. He admits being aggressive to Mrs Trowbridge, not to Janet Wilden, but he accepts that he was rude to her."

The court heard that Hurton had already spent five nights in custody having been arrested on Thursday for threatening his neighbour. He was then released on bail but re-arrested later that day for breaching the condition of his bail which said he had to remain at an address in Kent Road.

He was found sleeping in a tent at Stowmarket recreation ground after falling out with the owner of his bail address.

On sentencing, the chairman of the bench, said: "We are going to deal with this offence by one day's imprisonment and you will be locked up until the court rises tomorrow."

Hurton was also in breach of a conditional discharge for common assault against his partner in May.

The court did not punish Hurton for this offence as "this was exceptional on the basis of the evidence."

What do you think of this case? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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