Asbo OAP Gets Jail Term Reduced

An 81-year-old woman once described by a judge as “the original neighbour from hell” has had her prison sentence reduced by two months. Dorothy Evans, from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire was jailed for six months for harassment and breaching her Asbo.

While agreeing to cut her sentence, two judges at London’s Criminal Appeal Court refused to free her immediately. She was in a wheelchair with a plaster over her right eye, and the court was told she had been attacked in prison. Mr Justice Underhill said: “Old age is not a licence to disregard the law.”

She was smartly dressed in a bright pink suit and white sun hat, and listened to her case intently through headphones provided for the hard of hearing.

Mr Justice Underhill, sitting with Mr Justice Gross, said she had put her “thoroughly decent” neighbours, Angela and Roberto Casa, under “huge pressure and strain”. The judge said she had shown not an ounce of sympathy for them, nor had she expressed any regret.

Sentencing her last month, Judge Roderick Denyer QC told her: “It seems to me, despite your age and despite your infirmities, you have deliberately, for a period going on for 10 years, made life a misery for neighbours. In my view, the consequences of your behaviour must be brought home to you.”

During the trial Mr and Mrs Casa described several neighbourly disputes with her, including rows over parking and flooding problems. A jury heard how Evans had accused Mrs Casa of being a prostitute and hit her with her walking stick. She also told Mrs Casa’s 13-year-old daughter she was a witch and that she would kill her dog.

However, Mrs Casa told BBC Wales after the case she would rather her neighbour Evans was in hospital rather than prison because of her age. Before she was sentenced by Judge Denyer, Evans failed to appear in court on 16 April.

The court heard she was being examined in hospital after feeling unwell. However Judge Denyer said the pensioner was “deliberately frustrating the processes” of the court. He threatened an arrest warrant unless Evans turned up in court the following day. Evans was originally told she must serve at least three months of her six-month sentence, which was imposed on 17 April.

She is serving her sentence at Eastwood Park women’s prison in Gloucestershire.