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Neighbour from hell jailed after eight months of abuse

A TIVOLI woman, who was shamed on national television for terrorising her neighbours over an eight-month period, has been sent to jail.

Sheridan McGuire and her family gained infamy last year when they were featured in an expose by A Current Affair.

The report, titled The Street With No Shame, revealed footage of the family as they tormented their neighbours by shouting abuse and bombarding them with rocks and other objects.

It also showed the parents encouraging their three young boys to get involved in the aggressive behaviour.

The day after the episode aired, McGuire and her partner Brenton Lee Kelly were arrested and charged with unlawful stalking with violence. At Ipswich Magistrates Court this week, McGuire pleaded guilty to the charge, and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Kelly had already faced court for the same unlawful stalking charge on May 12. The offence put him in breach of a suspended 821-day sentence, which he was ordered to serve, with two more years added for the unlawful stalking.

Sheridan McGuire
Sheridan McGuire Contributed

 

He will be eligible for parole in November, having already served 357 days in pre-sentence custody.

Judge Deborah Richards noted most of the stalking acts, which had taken place from September 2013 to May 2014, had been committed by McGuire's partner.

However Judge Richards said McGuire had been responsible for some of the more serious acts, which included throwing a headless dummy over the fence.

The terrorised neighbours, Travis and Susan Fisher, said they and their two young children had been living in constant fear.

"When police finally arrested them we were so relieved," Mrs Fisher said. "We could finally go out into our yard again, without any fear of abuse or having things thrown at us.

"We couldn't live a normal life when they were here. We were petrified. It's been so nice and peaceful since they left".

The Fishers currently have a restraining order which prohibits either Kelly or McGuire making contact with them until 2020.

McGuire also pleaded guilty to producing a dangerous drug, and several other offences.

Judge Richards said police had raided McGuire's address in September, 2013 and found a hidden drug lab, which contained traces of pseudoephedrine. Much of the equipment had the 37-year-old's fingerprints on it.

Defence Barrister Janice Crawford said McGuire had mental health issues and had suffered "significant" drug-related problems in recent years.

"That doesn't excuse her conduct but helps explain it," Ms Crawford said.

Ms Crawford said her client had been in custody for 104 days and used that time to rehabilitate herself.

She said the stalking offence had been a neighbourhood dispute and that McGuire and Kelly had been humiliated by the A Current Affair report.

"My client is remorseful for her behaviour and knows she did the wrong thing," Ms Crawford said.

McGuire will be released on parole on November 5. She has also been charged with a series of unrelated offences which are alleged to have taken place in May this year and include kidnapping, torture and assault occasioning bodily harm. She will appear via video link from prison today for a committal mention of those matters.

 

Topics:  crime editors picks jail neighbour



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