A nightmare neighbour described a man as a “sex worker” in a bogus finance application after a dispute over a boundary between their homes turned nasty.
Grant Harris, 26, signed his neighbour up to a house-sale website – meaning he was bombarded by calls from estate agents.
Harris also made a bogus online request for car finance in the victim’s name, stating his neighbour’s occupation was a ‘sex worker’.
He admitted his actions amounted to the harassment of his neighbour, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.
Magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard Harris and the victim were embroiled in a long-standing dispute about the boundary between their Werrington homes prior to the incidents last November.
Prosecutor Emma Thompson said: “The dispute is still ongoing. On November 13, the injured party was contacted by various estate agents who were stating he wished to sell his property online on Zoopla. This was not the case.
“He also received a call regarding a car loan he had requested, but he had not contacted that company either.
“The finance application was for £2,395. Fortunately it was stopped and no money went out. The application had been made on November 14. The occupation of the victim had been given as sex worker.
“Both the applications had been made by this defendant. The victim’s email address was used, which had only been shared with a small number of people, including this defendant, in reference to the boundary dispute.
“The victim will say he is a financial trader, for which he needs an impeccable credit record. He would say that the applications caused him a lot of stress.”
Forklift driver Harris pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment without violence. He has no previous convictions.
Angela Trafford, mitigating, said: “This is a 26-year-old man with no previous convictions who suddenly behaves in a way that’s completely out of character. He demonstrates significant remorse but tells the court it was because of the way he feels the injured party has behaved towards him.
“He admits he was angry and in that moment wanted to cause the injured party some distress. He bitterly regrets his actions.
“Mr Harris wants to erect a fence at his property because he has two dogs. He will say that, at every opportunity, the injured party has put obstacles in the way to prevent him doing that.”
Magistrates fined Harris £300 and ordered him to pay a further £169 in court costs and charges.
Joanne Fox, chairperson of the bench, told him: “With neighbour disputes rational thought can go out of the window. This has got out of hand and suddenly you, a man of good character, come before us today.
“Based on what we have heard, it’s likely both men have probably not behaved as well as they could have, but you took it a step too far. You made a bad decision.
“We think this has been a wake-up call for you.”