Verdict returned bizarre neighbourhood feud
AN IPSWICH mum has been found not guilty of stalking her neighbour after the friendship between the two mums allegedly fractured into an ugly dispute.
Following a two-day defended hearing, Magistrate Jason Schubert found that on the evidence before him he did not find the charge proven, with Suzanne Olivia Allen not guilty of the offence.
He found, however, some of the defendant's behaviour to be proven but that this did not constitute an offence of stalking.
The police stalking charge related to allegations made about a series of incidents occurring when Ms Allen and Jay-Deena Ashton were neighbours at Chuwar between December 1, 2016 and June 9, 2018.
Their children played together but the friendship soured after Ms Ashton was told by her daughter about playing with a voodoo doll and an ouija board.
As a result Ms Ashton forbade her daughter playing inside Ms Allen's house.
This allegedly started a chain reaction of handwritten notes being dropped off at all hours on the Ashtons' front door by Ms Allen, with accusations including that she had been dropping in uninvited and late at night, with cigarette butts thrown over the fence, and the alleged theft of some property.
It was also claimed Ms Allen sprayed Glen 20 in the direction of Ashton's backyard barbecue where meat was cooking, and that Allen poisoned garden plants, twice appeared naked in her own window facing directly at the neighbours, and once ran naked onto the driveway of Ms Ashton and her partner.
Ms Ashton said the behaviour caused her to fear going out.
Mr Schubert said he was not satisfied that fear was caused, nor that the behaviour of Ms Allen had been so bizarre that she would be capable of doing something to their detriment.
He said there was no supporting medical evidence before him that anxiety was caused to Ms Ashton so as to be considered a detriment.
Mr Schubert said he was satisfied that Ms Allen did have a legitimate purpose in leaving the notes, in that she was wanting to know why a child was no longer able to go inside her house.
He said that while Ms Allen's behaviour was unusual and inappropriate, and where she may have been guilty of charges that were discontinued, he was not satisfied the charge had been proven beyond reasonable doubt.
In his detailed finding Mr Schubert outlined the elements necessary to prove the charge and detailed the incidents.
He said Ms Ashton agreed she had called Ms Allen "a junkie and crackhead," and "a c**t".
She was also filmed at times outside Ms Allen's house on the nature strip talking which he found showed Ms Ashton had not felt hindered in leaving her home.
Ms Ashton had also allowed her child to sleep over once at Ms Allen's house during that time - in April 2017 - and had also thrown cigarette butts over the fence.
He said Ms Ashton's evidence was generally reliable and Ms Allen's consistent and reliable.
He said Ms Allen "did leave seven notes, did frequently look out of her own window at the Ashtons, did throw cigarette butts over the fence, did parade naked in her own property with intent, did recklessly spray Glen 20 in the air when they were cooking on the barbecue."
"There was no evidence she was able to directly spray it onto the meat," he said.
"I do find she recklessly sprayed Glen 20 and would have resulted in spray particles settling on the meat.
"She did recklessly spray weed killer that landed on plants. But there is no supportive evidence it resulted in any plants being damaged".
"I do find she did take the three pairs of sandals. And says in one note she is sorry."
Mr Schubert also found that Ms Allen did set up her nail lamp in a window intentionally with the light cast toward her neighbour's house.
The court heard the women were no longer neighbours.