Woman was a “prisoner in her own home” after campaign of harassment by neighbour

A WOMAN who was called “a poisoned dwarf” by her pensioner neighbour has been left in fear by a campaign of harassment, magistrates were told.

Over a six-week period Bruce Russell was abusive to the woman, he peered over her fence, and made rude gestures.

Russell, aged 66, was issued with a police harassment warning on June 7 after displaying unacceptable behaviour for more than a year, prosecutor Andrea Fawcett explained at Wisbech courthouse.

But he continued to harass his neighbour. On the day he was given the warning, Russell told the woman: “If you were a man I would hit you, you silly cow.”

Three days later he greeted her by saying “hello neighbour” as she collected her bin, and he waved at her.

On June 14 Russell saw the woman getting into a car, and put his finger up; and ten days later he looked over her fence.

When he saw the woman on July 15 he said: “Your are nothing but a poisoned dwarf, you are full of bile.”

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In a couple of victim statements, the woman had said she felt vulnerable. She had become a prisoner in her own home, and could only go out if a friend picked her up.

She wrote: “This harassment and mental torture should not be allowed. This appalling situation has been going on for more than a year and is ruining my life.”

Russell, of Riverside Way, Wisbech, had earlier denied harassment, but changed his plea to guilty this week. The court adjourned sentencing until September 14 for a report to be prepared.

Solicitor John Clarke said: “He tells me she has been out numerous times since he has been charged. He does not think she has been as distressed as has been stated.

“There was no planning, they were all impulsive actions, not involving anyone else.”