Larne woman sentenced over harassment ordeal

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A woman dished out verbal abuse, sounded a car horn and glared at a neighbour while slowly driving past during a year of harassment and now the victim has moved out, a court has heard.

Maria Kleyn was previously convicted in her absence at court of mounting a campaign of harassment of the victim.

Now, during sentencing at Ballymena Magistrates Court, she was warned to bring her conduct to an end.

The harassment lasted from June 1, 2014 to June 10, 2015 and Kleyn (38), of Lindara Park, Larne, was given a two year conditional discharge and and also had a two year restraining order imposed regarding contact with the injured party.

District Judge Nigel Broderick warned Kleyn not to treat the sentence as lenient and he wanted to make sure the behaviour is not repeated.

He told Kleyn: “It went on for a year and the injured party had to move home. Whatever happened between you and the injured party, make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

A prosecutor said the victim and the defendant were near neighbours and the victim said she was being harassed by Kleyn for several months.

The prosecutor said incidents included Kleyn standing at a doorstep shouting abuse and driving slowly past her house and “staring in”.

A defence lawyer claimed the incidents were “all relatively low level” and said they are no longer neighbours because the injured party moved in the spring of this year.

He claimed the move “wasn’t as a direct result of this prosecution”.

When a prosecutor said they wanted a restraining order to stop Kleyn having contact with the woman the defence lawyer said his client had concerns regarding the scope of that and wondered if seeing her across the street in the town would constitute a breach.

Judge Broderick said it appeared all the harassment was confined to the residential area but the prosecutor said there had also been an incident elsewhere in Larne.

The defence lawyer said there had been a lot of complaints made by the injured party to police but when the PSNI attended no offences were detected.

He added: “The vast bulk was the sounding of car horns outside the injured party’s house”.