Published: 12:29, 13 January 2020
| Updated: 13:09, 13 January 2020
A family who suffered a 'tirade of abuse' at the hands of a nightmare neighbour will feature in a television programme tonight.
Mark and Elaine Burrows from Betteshanger near Deal suffered death threats and constant verbal abuse from their jobless neighbour Jimmy Sinclair.
Their life in the village had been idyllic for almost 20 years until their next door neighbour Gary Norris moved his new partner Jimmy - who came with an alter ego Lilly La Rue - in.
They were forced to keep a diary of events and buy dictaphones to record the regular early hour abuse through the brick walls of their 1930's semi detached house in Circular Road.
It was because of this evidence they were able to bring about a harassment conviction in November 2018 in which Sinclair was handed a five-year restraining order, prohibiting him from both direct and indirect communication with the family.
Tonight, they share their tale in 5STAR's Nightmare Neighbour Next Door at 9pm.
The 60-minute episode was filmed in October and also includes Gary and Jimmy's version of events.
5STAR writes: "When Jimmy’s extrovert behaviour and overfriendliness got on their nerves, Elaine and Mark decided to keep themselves to themselves a bit more.
"What followed was a systematic and unrelenting tirade of abuse through the wall and threats of violence.
"With CCTV and recording equipment, the pair capture enough shocking evidence for the police to act.
"On the other hand, Gary and Jimmy claim that they are the real victims of their neighbours’ small town homophobia.
"Either way, the village is a pressure cooker waiting to explode."
KentOnline featured The Burrows family's ordeal days after Sinclair's conviction in November 2018.
Mrs Burrows said 'the vendetta' began in December 2016 after she stopped answering the daily knocks on the door from Sinclair who had recently moved in with his partner Gary Norris.
They installed sound proofing boards in the walls and floor of both their living room and son's bedroom to try and drown out the noise.
But the sleepless nights that followed put a strain on the couple's marriage, prompting Mrs Burrows to take anti-depressants for the first time in her life.
She also developed psoriasis on her hands and arms which her doctor told her was almost certainly stress related.
Sinclair was found guilty of the offence. Mr Norris was found not guilty but was given the same restraining order.
It was a huge relief to the pair who contemplated a divorce and also turned to God because of the torment.
Mrs Burrows said at the time: "It's been the worst two years of our lives.
"Nobody should have to live like that. It's been so tough.
"Good people get destroyed by things like this. If we hadn't have had the support I really think it would have ended us.
"It was continual, shouting through the wall, especially when they've been out drinking on Friday and Saturday nights, or it would be over the garden fence.
"My son was 15 when it all started and they'd direct it through his bedroom wall.
"They'd blare the TV. One time he (Sinclair) said we were 'dead, dead, dead'. He was hysterical.
"For a long time it felt like the police didn't want to know but when I was on the phone crying, they started treating it as harassment.
"But we've had to fight it the whole way."
Jimmy Sinclair and Gary Norris have now moved.
Mr Burrows, self employed painted and decorator, said: "It has been lovely and quiet here and the new neighbour seems very nice.
"It has been such a weight lifted to live a normal life again and be able to walk locally and use our garden again."
Nightmare Neighbour Next Door airs at 9pm on 5STAR.
More by this authorEleanor Perkins
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