Wearside family's ordeal after terrifying harassment campaign

Crown Court
Crown Court

A man who subjected a family to a terrifying campaign of harassment over the course of a year is today behind bars.

Louis Perez would stand near the family home and shout abuse at them as they walked their dog or drove past him in their car.

On one occasion the 50-year-old told the father of the family, who was waking their dog, "I'm going to kill you" before repeatedly hitting him with a golf club and injuring his neck, back and buttock.

Neil Pallister, prosecuting, told the court: "He lifted his left arm towards him and struck him with the golf club, he grabbed a hold of the victim's t-shirt and pulled on it causing it to rip.

"He ran away and the defendant was shouting ' I'm still going to get you'."

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Perez was given a restraining order against the family, who live in Houghton, in August 2014 and was told not to enter their street.

However during seven breaches of the restraining order in 2014, Perez shouted and swore at the family in the street and telling the mother "watch your back."

Perez later entered the shop where one of the daughters worked before leaving and taking photos of her using a tablet through the window.

The offences took place between September 2014 and November 2015.

In a victim impact statement read to the court the mother said her daughters suffered from anxiety and suffered panic attacks as a result of Perez's behaviour.

She said: "All we ever wanted was to be left alone but Louis Perez has not allowed this to happen for years.

"We hoped when he was issued with a restraining order in 2014 this would end the problem but Louis Perez showed no regard to my family, the police or the court."

Perez, of Watts Moses House, High Street East, Sunderland, admitted seven breaches of a retaining order, assault and a public order offence at a previous hearing.

Jamie Adams, defending, said: "It's only right that the court should know that he does have a very good past having suffered from since 1999 mental health difficulties. He was in the army for nine years from the age of 16."

Recorder Jo Kidd told Perez he caused "terror and anxiety" to the family.

She said: "In respect of actual breaches they included shouting, swearing and spitting. You continue to fail to fully accept your capability in respect of these offences.

"The impact on this family has been extraordinary."

Recorder Kidd sentenced Perez to 16 months in prison and an indefinite restraining order in relation to the family.