A poison pen letter writer, who brought terror to his neighbourhood, was freed following a plea by his wife.

Andrew Bewley was jailed for two months by magistrates following a campaign of hate mail and vandalism against neighbours in Ingleby Barwick, near Middlesbrough.

Three families moved out, a widowed mother-of-three was driven to the brink of suicide and one elderly woman was unable to sleep for fear of the postman's visit, as a result of Bewley's letters.

He had hoped blame would fall on a teenage neighbour - but the truth came out when Bewley was caught by a security camera spray painting the home of widowed neighbour, Annette Dales.

Yesterday, he successfully appealed against the prison sentence and was put on probation for two years, after agreeing to undergo psychiatric treatment and not to approach any of his former neighbours.

He had been released on bail pending yesterday's appeal.

Freeing Bewley, Mr Recorder James Muir said he believed the support Bewley would receive from psychiatric treatment and his wife would ensure that there was no re-offending.

"You are very fortunate that she stands by you and supports you" said Judge Muir. Bewley must also pay costs of £165.