Devon

Mary De Jong: Giant plant row neighbour gets new restraining order

Mary de Jong
Image caption Mary de Jong, 68, was found guilty of violating a 2018 restraining order granted on behalf of her neighbours

A woman "hell-bent" on tormenting her neighbour with a giant potted plant has been banned from putting items outside his house.

Mary de Jong, 68, was found guilty of ignoring a court order to remove the shrub next to Stephen Johnston's kitchen window.

The size of the plant stopped him from opening it, Exeter Crown Court heard.

A new restraining order forbids her from placing objects within 1m (3ft 3ins) of his home.

The court previously heard the long-running dispute stemmed from a row over access to a shared courtyard in Topsham, Devon.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Johnson told her: "If you break this order, the likely outcome would be an immediate custodial sentence."

"You repeatedly told the jury it was your land and you could do with it as you wished. You were wrong in that because you were subject to the court order," he added.

De Jong, of White Street, also failed to remove CCTV cameras pointed at Mr Johnston's home as part of the original order.

She claimed it was no longer pointing at Mr Johnston's window or doors.

De Jong also said she was the "true victim" and had her car torched twice in the space of a few weeks this year.

The new three-year restraining order forbids her from obstructing Mr Johnston's window, from placing any object within a metre of his home and from filming his window to back door.

Judge Johnson also ordered De Jong to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work under a one-year community order and told her to pay £2,800 costs.

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