Pensioner, 81, 'tortured' her neighbours with parrot in bizarre campaign of ...

An 81-year-old pensioner 'tortured' her neighbours by encouraging her parrot to sing loudly in a long running campaign of harassment against the couple. 

Catherine Searle, 81, began her reign of terror after a parking row with neighbours Paul and Lydia Appleton outside their home in Sevenoaks, Kent.

For three years, the pensioner would throw dog poo into the couple's garden, scratch their car and play her television on a loud volume.

On top of this, she would also encourage her parrot to sing loudly - which the victims described as 'Chinese torture.'

The widow was caught on CCTV 38 times as she smeared grease over the bonnets of the Appleton's van and car in 2018.

Catherine Searle, 81, was made subject to a restraining orders, as well as being sentenced to 70 days in prison, suspended for 12 months

Catherine Searle, 81, was made subject to a restraining orders, as well as being sentenced to 70 days in prison, suspended for 12 months

And on one occasion during her campaign of harassment she scratched the bonnet of a Toyota with a ring she was wearing.

In a sinister turn, the pensioner also placed sharp tacks underneath the wheels of Mr Appleton's van.

The pensioner has now been handed a restraining order and suspended prison sentence for her bizarre offending.

In a victim impact statement, Searle's neighbour Lydia said: 'I feel nervous for my husband when he's on the road, I'm in fear of what might happen, he could be hurt or cause a terrible accident.

'He has to go through a daily routine of checking the wheels to make sure there are no tacks and nothing has been tampered with.'

The counsellor said she has suffered night terrors as a result of her concerns.

Searle, of Seal in Kent, says the dispute started over parking in the road.

Probation officer Lauren Packham, who interviewed the pensioner, said: 'I've spoken to Mrs Searle and it's clear she doesn't fully accept culpability.

'She believes she is as much a victim in this neighbourly dispute.

'She says the grease on the vehicle was the result of her falling, but she only made reference to one occasion, not multiple.'

Maidstone Magistrates Court also heard the nightmare neighbour was intentionally causing her parrot to sing loudly if the Appletons were in the garden.

James Nichols, prosecuting, said: 'She would deliberately try and harass them.

'On one occasion she started playing loud opera music, which caused the bird to sing louder.'

Searle, who lives off a £114 weekly pension, has been ordered to pay £779.77 in costs and fines. She was sentenced at Maidstone Magistrates Court yesterday (pictured)

Searle, who lives off a £114 weekly pension, has been ordered to pay £779.77 in costs and fines. She was sentenced at Maidstone Magistrates Court yesterday (pictured)

Maidstone Magistrates Court also heard the nightmare neighbour was intentionally causing her parrot to sing loudly if the Appletons were in the garden (stock image)

Maidstone Magistrates Court also heard the nightmare neighbour

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