Woman pretended neighbour ran her over
By Western Daily Press | Saturday, August 24, 2013, 05:00
A woman has been given a restraining order after launching a hate campaign against a neighbour including filming her – sparked by a row over parking.
Claire Sharpe, 33, fell out with Lisa Trumble, 47, shortly after her neighbour moved next door in their cul-de-sac in Chippenham, Wiltshire.
The pair had a brief dispute about parking outside their homes but Sharpe then began accusing her of a series of crimes. She rang police and said her neighbour had stabbed her with a screwdriver and a set of keys, smashed into her with a car and keyed her vehicle.
Police investigated all the allegations and dismissed them as lies and Sharpe was given an harassment notice.
But she then began using a video camera to film her neighbour day and night – often recording her thorough her kitchen window.
She set up a constant "surveillance" of her neighbour's front garden, filming everyone who entered her home for nearly eight weeks.
Sharpe was given a restraining order by Chippenham magistrates banning her from recording her neigbour's home.
Ms Trumble, 47, who fled Zimbabwe with her children in 2001, said problems began with a parking dispute. She said: "It has been a very unhappy nightmare. I've had so many different people knock on my door questioning me – that is really scary, even if you know you've done nothing wrong. It's really difficult to cope. I am a quiet person, I don't like conflict, I don't understand why she's doing it.
"Three times she said I ran her over. It frightened me because I'd look out the window and see police looking underneath my car and your heart starts pounding. Once she phoned the police in front of me and said, 'Help me, my neighbour's stabbing me' and they were out straight away".
Nick Barr, prosecuting, told the court that police said all allegations against Ms Trumble had been investigated and there was no substance to any of them. He added: "Miss Sharpe was issued with a harassment notice in February 2013 and within a short space of time that was breached by putting the camera at her kitchen window directly pointing into Lisa Trumble's garden, at whoever came to her front door. That caused some distress, as you would imagine."
Terry McCarthy, defending, told the court: "The reason she set up a camcorder was that she got an email from the police advising her if she was concerned about the behaviour of her neighbour then she should film it. It isn't appropriate to use this court to deal with a neighbours' dispute."
Outside court, Sergeant Phil Connor said: "People are given advice by the police to gather evidence of antisocial behaviour, but at no time has Miss Sharpe ever been told by us to set up a camera and continuously film her neighbour's private property. In fact she was given warnings by the police to remove it. With regards to making false and malicious allegations, not only can it cause a lot of distress, it is a criminal offence and we will pursue it."
Ms Trumble said she also had her benefits temporarily stopped and a visit from the RSPCA to see if she was cruel to her pets following false claims by Sharpe.