Paul Hayward: Neighbor From Hell


A neighbour from hell has been jailed after he spent a decade ordering hundreds of unwanted taxis, takeaways and two tons of coal to the homes of his victims.

Paul Hayward’s campaign of harassment saw him throw mud, food and rubbish into their gardens and plague them with more than 150 silent phone calls.

His former neighbours spoke of their relief as he was sentenced to 14 months in prison after he breached an anti-social behaviour order on 19 occasions.

Patricia Jones and Jim and Jill Thomas told Newport Crown Court how the 49-year-old father of two made their lives a misery.

Hayward’s house in Machen, South Wales, was sold last month, marking the end of his neighbours’ ordeal.

Ms Jones, 67, said: ‘It was ten years of hell. We couldn’t relax, we were constantly waiting and thinking “what is he going to do next?”

‘Now he has gone, we are no longer thinking “is it because he’s spying on us?” when it’s quiet.’

She looked after Hayward’s two children when he moved in ten years ago and believes the problems started after she was unable to continue.

He began banging and scratching her walls, she said, throwing stones on her roof and constantly watching her.

Ms Jones said: ‘It wasn’t one week here, one week there – it was constant.’

She also believes he was behind more than 100 unwanted taxis and Chinese meals being ordered to her house over a ten-year period.

Mr Thomas, 71, and Mrs Thomas, 65, said Hayward began picking on their 43-year-old daughter Rachel – who suffers from cerebral palsy – using his car and wheelie bin to block her access.

He would play loud music and bombard them with abuse, they added.

Mr Thomas said Hayward also threw mud, eggs, stones and food at their property and installed cameras and mirrors in his garden so he could watch them.

He added: ‘Now he’s gone, we can at last have a family life here.’

On Friday Hayward was given 12 months for making persistent silent phone calls to the Thomases – with the court hearing 100 of these were made over a 24-hour period last December.

He was sentenced to a further four months, to run concurrently, for ordering two tons of coal and a taxi to Ms Jones’ address in January, and two months for making hoax calls to Gwent Police last November, to run consecutively.

In mitigation, Hayward’s counsel Jeff Jones said his client wanted to cause stress to his victims, not fear, and has made a fresh start since moving to a different address.

The offences amount to a total of 19 breaches of an ASBO imposed in July 2007, preventing Hayward from obstructing his neighbours, assaulting or threatening them or using abusive language. He has been jailed for previous breaches.

Sentencing Hayward, Judge David Morris said he had caused stress to his neighbours.
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