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Anti-social behaviour spoiled relationship between Inverness neighbours

By Ali Morrison

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The case was heard at Inverness Sheriff Court.
The case was heard at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Good neighbours turned enemies after 14 years on good terms when one of them started playing loud music.

Businessman Philip Jones of Morning Field Place, Culduthel, Inverness began his anti-social behaviour on June 27, 2021 and thereafter relations turned sour with the people who had been living next door since 2007.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told that two days later, a panel of the neighbour's fence had been damaged and was hanging off.

Fiscal depute Adele Gray told Sheriff Gary Aitken: "A brick was lying next to it on Philip Jones side.

"A pattern was then emerging of playing extremely loud music and one day while the neighbours were having a barbecue, he began playing extremely loud sectarian music.

"Multiple text messages were also sent between them and the accused. While the complainers were on holiday in August 2022, he installed CCTV cameras and subsequently printed out screen shots of two of them out walking the dogs.

"He put the screen shots up on his windows but there was no text. Then on May 27, 2023 the neighbours found a letter on their car windscreen containing derogatory language. Police were contacted." Mrs Gray went on.

Jones admitted engaging in a course of conduct intended to cause fear and alarm, otherwise defined legally as stalking.

Defence solicitor advocate Clare Russell told the court: "There were noise disputes on both sides, but he concedes playing loud music was not acceptable."

Sheriff Aitken described Jones' behaviour as "childish."

Ms Russell agreed it was "immature" and added: "He is considering moving in April."

Sheriff Aitken decided to place Jones under a strict regime of social work intervention for the next four months and a review will be carried out on May 30.

He continued consideration of a non-harassment order.

But he told Jones: "It was incredibly stupid leaving a letter on the car when you were drunk. But at least you realised it and took it off.

"There was no excuse for behaviour of this kind which was at best childish if not worse."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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