A Cotswolds woman thought that her OAP next door neighbour was spreading rumours about her – so she went round to his house wielding a ball-hammer and smashed up two cars parked there, a court heard yesterday.
Jade Kelly, 38, of King Georges Field, Stow-on-the-Wold pleaded guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates Court to two charges of criminal damage but denied possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.
She was convicted of that offence after a trial.
The court heard that the mother-of-two lost control on May 26 this year and took the ball-hammer to her neighbour’s driveway when she smashed the windows of two cars and dented the roof of one of them.
During her trial she insisted that she had no intention of using the ball-hammer against her elderly neighbour.
Three windows on one of the vehicles were smashed and two windows and a panel were damaged on the other vehicle.
Her neighbour’s vehicle was a VW Passat which was used as a taxi, the court heard.
The other car, also used a taxi, belonged to another resident.
The court heard that Ms Kelly thought that her neighbour had been spreading rumours about her two children being taken into care, when, in reality, they were being looked after by the defendant’s mother.
Probation officer Neil Hewitt said: “There had been a long build-up of emotions and the defendant accused him of spreading rumours and of making sexualised remarks to her.
“She ruminated over the alleged comments and on the day in question she lost control.
“She admits that she wrestled with her neighbour, who was trying to take the ball-hammer from her, but she denied having any intention to hurt him with it.”
The magistrates imposed an 18-month community order and ordered her to pay £260 compensation to her neighbour and £260 compensation to another resident.
The defendant was also made the subject of a 12-month restraining order not to contact her neighbour.
Kelly shouted that she would not pay anything, swore at the magistrates and stormed out of the court.