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Residents of Newton Aycliffe street dread return of man who booked living neighbour's funeral
A WOMAN whose neighbour organised her funeral during a long-running campaign of harassment last night said she is relieved he has been banned from contacting her - but others dread the day he will return to their street.
David Ian Lawson has been handed two restraining orders banning him from contacting a man and a couple on his street after admitting two charges of harassment.
The 63-year-old fell out with his immediate neighbour on Kirkham Close, Newton Aycliffe, over a shared lawn mower, sending him threatening and abusive text messages between July 2012, and May 7 this year.
Prosecutor John Garside said Lawson, who has been living at Hubback Square, Darlington, during court proceedings, had also sprayed water on the man's doorstep during icy weather.
He told Newton Aycliffe magistrates that Lawson also sent him a text branding him a pervert after he had asked about the welfare of Lawson’s partner.
He was also harassing other neighbours, including a couple who employed a woman as a cleaner, who was living next door to Lawson.
Mr Garside said Lawson took exception to this and the woman has now left the area after having her own problems with him.
He said that ithere were various incidents of harrassment against the couple, inluding Lawson driving his car at the wife, staring at her and shouted towards their home.
In April this year, the woman was called by the Co-Operative Funeral Service querying a funeral booked in her name - which she took as a death threat.
Mr Garside said Lawson booked the funeral online and that afterwards her family were too scared to come and stay with her.
Speaking afterwards, the woman told The Northern Echo she was relieved that a restraining order had been imposed.
“It has been a nightmare, the most traumatising time of my life," she said.
Other neighbours said they were relieved Lawson had not been allowed to live on the street during court proceedings, but they are now dreading his return.
One said: “We do not believe this will stop him.”
Nick Woodhouse, mitigating, said Lawson, who is unfit to work and is a carer for his partner, will probably stay in Darlington until at least December.
As well as the indefinite restraining orders, Lawson was also given a 12 month community order with 12 months supervision and ordered to pay £100 compensation to his male neighbour, £150 to the woman whose funeral he organised, £60 victim surcharge and £40 costs.