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Jimmy Sinclair gets restraining order for harassing neighbours Mark and Elaine Burrows at Betteshanger home

By Sam Lennon

A man who harassed neighbours and made threats to kill them has been warned he could end up in jail if his behaviour continues - and told he cannot go out in his garden at night.

Jimmy Sinclair of Betteshanger, was heard by his victims making threats through the walls between their homes.

He tormented couple Mark and Elaine Burrows during one summer and again while he was on bail.

Jimmy Sinclair harassed neighbours Mark and Elaine Burrows
Jimmy Sinclair harassed neighbours Mark and Elaine Burrows

Magistrates last W ednesdayimposed a restraining order on Sinclair and imposed a community sentence on him.

They warned him that if he continued these offences he would end up in jail.

Chairman of the bench Jenny Danczak told him that he had caused "serious harm" to the victims, judging by their impact statement.

She said: "They had psychological harm and the breakdown of their relationship.

"They were scared to go out, not just into their garden but out of their property.

"This was persistent in the summer of 2017 but one offence happened while you were on bail for offences in the summer.

"You made serious threats of violence. The victims heard threats to kill through the the house wall."

'You made serious threats of violence. The victims heard threats to kill through the the house wall' - Jenny Danczak, chairman of the bench

Jobless Sinclair, 60, of Circular Road, was convicted of harassment without violence against the couple from June 24, 2017, to October 14 that year.

The details of that charge are that he had used threatening and abusive behaviours, specifically that in the very early hours of the morning he was shouting abuse through the walls.

He was convicted of a second count of the same charge, where it was specified that he had a conversation, intended to be overheard by the victims.

These were numerous comments about causing them harm, causing them to feel harassed, alarmed or distressed.

He had denied both counts but was found guilty in both cases after a trial on October 25.

Sinclair was given a two-year community order, in which he had to do 250 hours of unpaid work on that time.

He was also given a five-month curfew, which means he cannot leave his house, even to go into his garden, between 7pm and 5am.

As part of the community order he was told to attend rehabilitation activity days to deal with his alcohol misuse and understand the impact on the victims.

Sinclair was also ordered to pay a total £1,285 in costs and victim surcharge.

Ms Danczac, at Folkestone Magistrates Court, said she would not make a compensation order to help defuse the problem between the neighbours.

But she and colleagues also imposed a restraining order for Sinclair not to make any direct or indirect contact with Mr and Mrs Burrows and one of their children for five years.

Ms Danczak said: "That includes shouting from your home, which caused trouble before."

She said if Sinclair repeated these offences he would be immediately arrested and could face five years' imprisonment.

After conviction the case had been adjourned for pre-sentence reports and Sinclair is liaising with the probation service.

Sinclair's partner, Gary Norris, 63, was found not guilty in the January 28 harassment charge in last month's trial.

But he was given the same five-year restraining order as Sinclair.

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