Hemel pensioner convicted of racially abusing neighbours is handed nine-year court order

A 76-year-old woman convicted of a racist campaign against her neighbours has been given a nine-year criminal behaviour order.

Josie Edwards, of Ashby Court, Hemel Hempstead, appeared before Luton Crown Court on August 2 after she breached her previous restraining order in less than 24 hours.

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Edwards was previously found guilty by jury of racially aggravated harassment at Luton Crown Court on May 30.

The court heard Edwards repeatedly made inappropriate and racist comments towards her neighbours when they were coming and going from their address and using their back garden.

The offences began in December 2016.

Following her conviction in May, Edwards was remanded into custody for six weeks ahead of her sentencing on July 11 at Luton Crown Court.

There, she was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

This was followed by a five-year restraining order prohibiting her from making direct or indirect contact with the victims.

Following Edwards’ breach, she was given a nine-year criminal behaviour order.

This prohibits her from residing at or visiting her home in Ashby Court for the duration the order is in place.

Speaking after the sentencing, pc Lazarus Clark said: “Edwards’ campaign of abuse made her neighbours’ lives a misery.

“No-one should feel intimidated or harassed in their own home.

“Edwards showed contempt for the previous order after breaching it in less than a day, hence why we returned to court.

“I hope this result serves as a warning to those who choose to act in an anti-social and/or racist manner towards those in their community.

“Edwards’ criminal behaviour order will now finally give her victims respite from her behaviour, as she is no longer able to reside at her address in Ashby Court.”