A WOMAN who is alleged to have called an armed response unit to a neighbour’s fancy dress party appeared at court yesterday, Tuesday, accused of harassment.
Jan Krause, 46, of Walnut Lane, in Hartford, denied a string of offences between April 2004 and April 2010.
Giving evidence at Chester Magistrates’ Court, Carol Story, who lives opposite Krause, said her life had been turned upside down. The court heard Krause had been stalking Ms Story and watching her every move.
Ms Story, a retired registered nurse, bought her Walnut Lane home in May 2004 but moved in in November while building work was being done.
The court heard the conflict began in April 2004 when Krause placed obstacles such as concrete and branches on the grass verge to stop vehicles parking outside Ms Story’s home.
It was also alleged Krause often stayed outside, glaring at Ms Story’s family while taking notes.
The court heard things escalated when Krause questioned visitors to the house why they were there. Krause is also alleged to have sounded her horn around three times a week when visitors arrived at Ms Story’s house.
The court heard that, starting in March 2007, Krause bumped her car into other vehicles outside her house four times. On one occasion Ms Story’s daughter was in the car.
Ms Story said: “She was shouting ‘stop, stop’.
“I said ‘you’ve hit my daughter’s car’ and she just stuck two fingers up at me and drove off.”
It is alleged that for several months Krause blew a whistle every time Ms Story left or entered her home. She kept a diary of incidents and registered 93 entries.
Ms Story said: “She must have been watching me to know when I was going in and out of the house. It was getting me really down and depressed and after nine months of it I put my house on the market.
“I couldn’t stand the thought of being there any longer and being watched.”
Then in August 2007, an armed response unit was sent to Ms Story’s home as they had received word guns were on the premises.
It was the night of Ms Story’s twins’ 18th birthday fancy dress party and many guests had dressed as James Bond characters with toy guns.
Ms Story added: “The whole house was searched. I couldn’t believe it.
“After the build up of everything going on, it was ridiculous, there were two police vans at my house at 3am.
“They could have been needed somewhere else.”
Shortly after the party, Ms Story said she saw Krause pouring animal guts down the drain.
On May 13, 2008, Krause made a tape recording of the family having a water fight.
Ms Story said: “I felt sick, to be honest, it proved to me she could record what we were saying and doing.”
Under interview, Krause said she made the recording because of foul language.
She said the conflict started because Ms Story’s central heating system was too loud and her security light was too bright.
In October 2008, it was alleged Krause shone a torch in Ms Story’s eyes and between November 27 and December 1, 2009, she is believed to have put a camera in a cardboard box and filmed Ms Story’s movements before uploading footage to video website You Tube.
It is alleged Krause forced Ms Story to call police on Christmas Day 2009.
Ms Story said: “Christmas morning I opened the lounge curtains and she was just sitting there in a black balaclava taking notes. It made me want to burst into tears.
“I feel totally intimidated in my own home, I feel my whole life has been turned upside down.”
The case continues.