A WOMAN who harassed her neigbour by shouting obscenities about him told police she had been yelling at her dogs.

Valerie Burns, 54, referred to the victim as a ‘paedophile’ and a ‘dirty man’ and also made a rude gesture towards him, Workington Magistrates’ Court heard.

Outlining the case, prosecutor Pamela Fee said Burns had shouted, ‘f*** off, you b******s. On another occasion, she had shouted, ‘I live next door to a paedophile’.

The defendant was also heard saying, ‘what is your daughter doing working at Sellafield? I hate her.’

The victim’s son said he had heard Burns saying in a mocking voice, ‘I’m an ex-cop. I’m a w*****.’

Ms Fee said the behaviour had been ongoing for some time and the defendant had previously been given a restraining order against the victim’s wife.

The victim said the issues were having a detrimental effect on his wellbeing and Burns ‘didn’t seem to care’ about how her behaviour affects others. He said he didn’t feel comfortable in his own home.

The victim’s daughter said she was concerned about the impact it was having on her parents and said her mother had become unwell as a result of the defendant’s behaviour.

Burns was interviewed and said she shouts in the property but it’s not directed at her neighbours. She said she was shouting ‘f*** off, you b******s’ at her dogs.

She said she had not used an offensive hand gesture towards the victim.

John Cooper, defending, said: “When you look at the record, this does seem to come out of the blue. There has been talk about mediation. She said she would sit down and talk to them with a third party.

“She clearly needs some help. I think things have calmed down in recent months. It’s a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.”

Burns, of Wordsworth Road, Whitehaven, pleaded guilty to harassment without violence.

Passing sentence, Sarah Bradbury, chair of the magistrates, said: “This offence crossed the custody threshold but we are not going to send you to custody today.

“We have taken into account your mental health problems and guilty plea. These two reasons are why we have stepped back from custody.”

Burns was given a 12-month community order with a mental health treatment programme and five rehabilitation activity requirement days.

The defendant was fined £1,073 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £114 victim surcharge.

A restraining order was granted which bans Burns from contacting the victim, his wife, daughter and son.