NEIGHBOUR WAS ‘A NIGHTMARE’
A“NIGHTMARE neighbour” sprayed bleach out of her window, which landed on another resident’s three-yearold child and damaged washing hanging up in the communal garden.
Emma Carling twice breached a restraining order that had been imposed just weeks earlier for sending threatening messages, including a picture of a baseball bat.
Sentencing her at Cardiff Crown Court, Recorder Gregory Treverton-Jones QC warned her: “If there are any further breaches of the order, you will be likely to be sent to prison.”
David Pugh, prosecuting, said there had been “some bad feeling” between Carling and the complainant, who lived in the same block of flats in Pentwyn.
The court heard that the complainant raised concerns about how the defendant was looking after her dog, leading to an argument.
Prosecutors said Carling sent the complainant a picture of a baseball bat on Facebook Messenger and told her: “Snitches get stiches.”
On June 8, she was made the subject of a 12-month restraining order, preventing her from contacting the complainant.
Mr Pugh said she breached it six weeks later at 3.15pm on July 23 by hanging out of her living room window and filming the complainant with one of her children.
The court heard the complainant asked her to stop and told her she did not have permission to film her child.
Carling said: “Yeah, I am filming. I’m filming you locking the gate.”
Prosecutors said there had been a dispute about the gate and the neighbours began shouting at each other.
Mr Pugh added: “The complainant said she was foolish to film herself breaking her own restraining order.”
The court heard the complainant walked away and the defendant moved to her bedroom win- dow to keep filming.
Two days later, the same complainant was in the communal garden with her three-year-old son and another neighbour.
Prosecutors said she had just finished hanging out her washing when Carling opened her windows and started spraying bleach.
The court heard that the defendant said: “Isn’t it nice to clean your windows with bleach? Did you know bleach stains clothes?”
Mr Pugh said: “She was spraying bleach towards the windows and also towards the complainants.”
He told the court some bleach went on the child, who was not hurt, but was upset by the incident. The second neighbour’s clothes were damaged by the bleach.
In a victim personal statement, the three-year-old’s mum said she had decided to move, due to the incident.
Speaking after the hearing, she described Carling as a “nightmare neighbour”.
In her police interview, the defendant said she was record- ing her neighbour because the council had advised her to do it.
She stated she was cleaning her windows and accepted some bleach may have blown on to the washing because it was windy.
Carling, 33, from Pennsylvania in Pentwyn, Cardiff, admitted two counts of breaching a restraining order.
Ieuan Rees, defending, said she has been “literally camping out” since being released on bail, as she did not want to risk contact with the complainant.
The court heard she has taken steps to address her heroin addiction and has got a job lined up in a call centre.
Mr Rees said she has been trying to move away from the area and is on a house swap list and waiting list with Caerphilly council.
Recorder Treverton-Jones QC said: “These were both clear breaches of the restraining order.”
Carling was given an 18-month community order, requiring her to complete 15 days of a rehabilitation activity, and a five-year restraining order was made.