A TRAUMATISED RAF veteran has been jailed for 20 months for shouting vile abuse at his neighbour whose husband had recently died.

Keith Cooper screamed ‘bloody God took the wrong person – it should have been that f***ing b**ch not (man’s name). I don’t have a problem with him the problem is you’.

The 64-year-old, who has a restraining order against him to leave his neighbours alone, shouted the same abuse the following day leaving his victim devastated by his behaviour.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the defendant was made subject of the restraining order in 2016 for shouting through the walls and abusing his neighbours.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said Cooper had nine convictions for breaching the restraining order between 2017 and 2019 and he also had a previous restraining relating to different people.

The Northern Echo: Keith CooperKeith Cooper

In a victim impact statement, the woman said her life had been made a misery by Cooper.

"I have enough to face on my own since losing my husband," she wrote. "I don't believe that it will ever stop."

Cooper, of Salisbury Terrace, Darlington, pleaded guilty to two breaches of his restraining order on November 3 and 4 last year.

The judge heard how Cooper was left with post-traumatic stress disorder after serving with the RAF, where he completed more than ten tours of Northern Ireland between 1974 and 1986.

Jamie Adams, in mitigation, said his client's behaviour was 'very unpleasant conduct' but it had to be put into the context of his alcohol problem.

He said: "He is trying very hard to overcome that problem and he is a man who can think clearly when he is sober and can speak in a very caring way about his fellow human beings."

Mr Adams said the problems started on that day when Cooper had an argument with his wife and she told him to stop shouting as it would upset the neighbours.

He added: "He does say that he is sorry about that now."

Judge Jonathan Carroll described the entire situation as 'tragic' for all concerned – 'you have made their lives intolerable' and caused 'immense distress'.

He said: "This is your tenth breach of that restraining order; you know full well what is required of you and you know how you were required to behave but sadly, you have underlying alcohol problems and you are unable to get it under control."

Cooper was jailed for 20 months.