Wisbech tenant of Roddons gets restraining order for harassing officer

PUBLISHED: 17:52 10 June 2010

A RESTRAINING order has been slapped on a Roddons Housing Association tenant who ­bombarded staff with almost 170 abusive and insulting messages.

Most of the communications, some of which were highly personal, were sent to one housing officer who was left feeling “useless, ugly and upset”.

Tenant Zurina Almond denied a charge of harassment, but district judge Ken Sheraton found her guilty after a five-hour trial.

The correspondence that Almond sent to Roddons, including complaints about neighbours, ran to 742 pages and filled two files that were produced at Wisbech courthouse on Tuesday.

E-mails included an allegation that the housing officer had attended Almond’s home “scantily clad” in a boob tube; comments that a mole on the officer’s neck was “rather sexy”; and invitations for the officer to visit out of work hours.

She also made allegations that the officer was not competent and made claims of police and housing ­association corruption.

“The defendant bombarded Roddons Housing Association with a cascade of abusive and unpleasant messages,” said prosecutor Lawrence Bruce.

Six warning letters were sent to Almond, warning her to stop ­sending the high volume of inappropriate messages, but they continued.

When her own e-mail was blocked, she used other e-mail addresses.

Giving her evidence to the court, the housing officer said: “I felt useless, ugly and upset. All I had done was try to help her.” She said she did not own a boob tube.

Almond, 37, of Weston Miller Drive, Wisbech, was found guilty of harassing the officer between May and ­November last year, but Mr Bruce said the conduct of “persistent and ­prolonged harassment had lasted for 11 months”.

Defending herself in court, Almond claimed the officer had deliberately blocked her application to be re-housed in Southend.

“Nothing was done with my ­housing application or my complaints,” she said.

The restraining order prohibits Almond from going within 100 metres of Roddons offices, she can only ­contact the association once a month to report any anti-social behaviour, and she is barred from contacting the victim of the harassment, along with other members of Roddons staff, a police officer, a solicitor and a ­member of staff from the Crown Prosecution Service.

The judge said: “You are in full ­control of your mental faculties and have chosen to use this method to get your way, and it is not going to work.”

Almond was given a two-year ­conditional discharge and must pay £200 costs.


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