'Nightmare' pensioner receives curfew after trying to poison neighbours’ cat and throwing


'Nightmare' pensioner receives curfew after trying to poison neighbours’ cat and throwing

Barbera Minns has been ordered to wear an electronic tag following a campaign of hate against a couple. Ms Minns has been hit with a curfew after s

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Barbera Minns has been ordered to wear an electronic tag following a campaign of hate against a couple. Ms Minns has been hit with a curfew after she repeatedly breached a restraining order to stay away from couple Adele Richards and Gary Authers in Falmouth, Cornwall.

A court heard that Ms Minns subjected the pair to a prolonged a violent campaign of harassment which has spanned years. The pensioner has threatened them with a knife, thrown poo at them and even attempted to poison their cat.

The beleaguered couple kept a harassment diary to chronicle the abuse for the police, and described Ms Minns as “evil”.

Ms Richards said previously: “It really has been hell. It’s been stressful, I’ve been pulling my hair out and have lost weight.

“We haven’t been on holiday as we’re too scared to leave the cats and I’m afraid to park the car in the space I own outside the house as she’s already damaged our cars and slashed tyres a number of times.

“We don’t feel safe in our own home and I can’t move because we have to let the estate agent know about the problems and, as a result, the house wouldn’t sell.”

The couple said they moved there in 1993 and initially got on well with Minns – but the relationship quickly deteriorated.

Cameras were installed to record her erratic and violent behaviour, and she was eventually convicted in 2018 and given a 36-week suspended prison sentence. Minns was also issued with a restraining order restricting her from contacting the couple or entering their property.

But it wasn’t enough to hold back Ms Minns. This week, she appeared in West Cornwall Magistrates Court again for the latest breach of the restraining order, which included assaulting Mr Authers by beating on May 22 last year.

This weeks’ hearing saw Ms Minns ordered to wear an electronic tag for monitoring for four months starting on February 14 and ending on June 13.

She also has to obey a curfew, remaining indoors in an address in Falmouth everyday between 5pm and 9am.

A further restraining order was also made during sentencing and Minns must also pay a £95 victim surcharge and costs of £59.

Speaking previously, Minns denied she had done anything wrong and added: “It is the biggest load of rubbish. I’ve been bullied. Anybody who knows me knows I’m nothing like that. I’m normally very gentle, kind and I’ve been totally obliterated.”

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Over the years Adele and Gary have collected photographic evidence of vandalism and other intimidating behaviour, including when Minns attempted to poison their cats while they were away.

In a victim personal statement read out in court, Miss Richards expanded on the terror inflicted on them by the “nightmare neighbour”.

She said: “We feel extremely frustrated and anxious, we are constantly on edge because Minns is unpredictable.

”We live in fear as to what Minns may do next and what she has proved to be capable of because of previous incidents. A restraining order was obtained and we thought this would stop Minns unacceptable behaviour but, five years on, we are still getting verbally and physically attacked.

“Minns’ behaviour has not improved despite her numerous court appearances at which she has pleaded guilty to. Since these incidents neither our friends or family feel comfortable visiting our home and they fear what Minns will do to us next.

“We have spent a large amount of money safeguarding our home yet still feel very little security personally. Minns has cost us emotional, physical and financial expense. Her intrusive and unwanted behaviour the cost to us is immeasurable.”

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Mr Authers said that on one occasion, after being verbally abused by Minns, he went inside to check the CCTV footage and saw her “on her knees, slashing at my tyres with a knife. She was drunk, stood their swaying and slurring her words.”

Other threats have included “I’ll cut your bloody head off” and a hose being fired into her bathroom window as well as regularly standing and staring at the property.

She has also launched dog poo into Adele and Gary’s garden and chucked stones at their vehicles.

Gary added: “She’s very clever at turning things around. She claims that she was the victim and went around telling all her neighbours that we were saying things about them.

“We haven’t done anything wrong and just want everyone to know that now she has the conviction to prove she’s been behaving in that way.”