Moment 'neighbour from hell' caught cutting next-door's trees

Moment ‘neighbour from hell’ is caught snapping branches off next-door’s trees in her dressing gown after claiming they were ‘overhanging’ her drive – as she is found guilty of criminal damage

  • Julie Bontoft, 55, was found guilty of damaging six of her neighbour’s trees

This is the moment a ‘neighbour from hell’ is caught cutting down next-door’s trees in her dressing gown in a bitter dispute over ‘overhanging’ branches.

Julie Bontoft, 55, can be seen on CCTV angrily chopping branches off an adjoining tree to her home on Beverley Road, Hessle.

On another occasion, Bontoft ‘looked possessed’ as she attack the trees and can then seen looking up a the camera and pulling a face.

Another neighbour accused her of ‘doing it out of spite’ and said she had caused ‘misery’ within the area. 

The row spiralled to the point that it was part of the reason the owner of the trees moved away from the area, the neighbour claimed. 

The court heard that Bontoft damaged six trees valued at £210 over a two-week period between February 19 and March 6, 2021. 

James Byatt, prosecuting, told a previous hearing that Bontoft’s next-door neighbour had CCTV footage that showed her reaching over the boundary and snapping off tree branches ‘without lawful excuse’.

Bontoft, however, claimed she had pushed ‘overhanging branches’ back onto her neighbour’s property without breaking off any branches or touching her property. 

The footage showed that she used a tool to damage the trees that separated the pair’s driveways. 

At Beverley Magistrates court, Bontoft denied criminal damage and claimed the trees were ‘overhanging her property’.

Julie Bontoft, 55, was caught on CCTV chopping down her next-door neighbour’s trees and was found guilty of criminal damage

Another neighbour said Bontoft ‘looked possessed when she looked into the camera’ and welcomed the guilty verdict

However, she was found guilty of damaging the trees and was handed a 12-month conditional discharge, as well as £620 in fines. 

Local residents welcomed the verdict, with one telling the Hull Daily Mail: ‘It was clear from the video she was doing it out of spite and she looked possessed when she looked into the camera.’

They added: ‘These are young trees and she is destroying them.

‘She is just the neighbour from hell and it’s good to see her with a criminal record after her behaviour was caught on camera.’

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