Man harassed Northampton neighbour for months until she felt 'watched' when she went outside, court hears

A man has been handed a five-year restraining order for harassing a Northampton woman to the point she felt she was being 'watched at all times'.

Friday, 4th January 2019, 1:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:25 pm
Luke Ives was handed a suspended sentence for repeatedly knocking at his neighbour's door and loitering on her front garden.

Luke Ives first knocked on his neighbour's door in Abington in July 2016. She asked him to leave - but instead, he carried on loitering outside her home.

Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (January 4) how this was the beginning of a year-long campaign of harassment where the 37-year-old knocked on her door on a near-daily basis.

Ives - who now lives in Peterborough - called at the woman's house several times a week and would knock on her door and windows to get her attention.

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When she didn't answer, Ives sometimes shouted at the house demanding why she would not see him.

It included an occasion when the woman went for a walk with her husband - only to spot Ives hiding in a bush and watching her.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the woman described how she gave up jogging and going out to avoid Ives, and feared to be alone in the house.

Prosecutor Eunice Opare-Addo QC told the court: "The defendant's behaviour made her feel unsafe in her home and paranoid... she felt like he was watching her movements and likely to turn up at her property when she was alone.

"Since he has been in custody, she feels like a weight has been lifted off of her shoulders."

Ives was arrested in 2017 and later pleaded guilty to harassment without violence.

The court also heard Ives was in breach of a suspended sentence for attempted sexual assault and a community order.

Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking told Ives: "This behaviour has a very substantial impact on people's lives over a long period of time.

"She felt unsafe in her own home. It was clearly very unsettling for her."

Ives was handed a five-year restraining order and was sentenced to six months in prison.