A neighbour from hell set up a network of CCTV cameras to spy on the people next door.
Ian Snowball, 40, made his neighbours’ lives a misery when he started filming them – even putting up a camera looking directly into their bedroom in Ryhope Road, Sunderland magistrates heard.
Now, an open-ended restraining order has been made, preventing him from having anything to do with his neighbours.
Snowball has also been banned from photographing or filming the family, who have a 17-year-old daughter, and any CCTV cameras facing their property must be removed.
He had previously denied separate charges of harassment and criminal damage.
However, on the day of the trial, he admitted an amended charge of Section 2 Harassment encompassing a time period between March 11, 2014, and December 27, 2015.
I’m extremely concerned as to why he is having to put cameras up. What is he doing with the images and the audio recordings, for whatever purpose is he doing this?Victim
During that time, he called the police on 32 occasions, making various allegations about the victims, for which no action was taken against them.
Prosecutor Fiona Varley said: “it’s quite a saga, that’s been going on for some time.
“The people next door have had ongoing problems with Mr Snowball dating back to 2001.”
Ms Varley said Snowball reported the male neighbour to the police in March 2014.
This led officers to issue a police information notice to Snowball, to stop him harassing the neighbours.
Things came to a head during the May bank holiday, when the neighbour received papers from the civil court.
“Mr Snowball was trying to take him to court for defamation of character and wanted £350 compensation.
“The neighbour filed a deference at Newcastle County Court.
“The case was immediately quashed by the judge, who imposed an injunction preventing him from taking action for two years.”
As a result, Snowball became one of only 58 people in the country, to be made subject to a Civil Restraint Order, banning him from the county courts and the High Court for two years. The order expired last week.
“On August 27, the injured party reported to the police the presence of a CCTV camera in Mr Snowball’s bedroom, on the first floor.
“It was pointing into his and his wife’s bedroom.
“On October 6, at 2pm the injured party was walking home from the shops when he saw Mr Snowball’s Volvo and noticed he had his arm extended out,” Ms Varley said.
“He had his mobile phone and was recording him.”
Magistrates also fined Snowball £120 and told him to pay £85 costs and a £20 surcharge.