Fleetwood 'neighbour from hell' jailed for perverting course of justice
A “neighbour from hell” who waged a campaign of harassment against a couple on his street has been jailed after deleting potential evidence.
Preston Crown Court heard Barry Carr, 67, lied to officers and erased CCTV footage requested as part of the latest investigation into complaints made against him.
Just days after a failed appeal against his conviction for harassment saw his suspended sentence increased, he was caught on film “being obstructive” to police officers who had requested to see footage from one pf his many CCTV cameras.
Carr, of Rossall Gate, Fleetwood, Rossall, Fleetwood, was jailed 18 weeks after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
The court heard he showed “no remorse” for his crimes.
Sentencing him yesterday, Judge Robert Altham said: “This defendant had been engaged upon a campaign of harrassment against his neighbours. This was to make their lives extremely difficult.”
The court head how, on February 12 last year, a neighbour had returned home late and thought he saw an infra-red light from one of Carr’s CCTV cameras shining on him as he walked up his drive.
Police visited five days later and requested to take the CCTV footage from his hard drive, which Carr then deleted.
Judge Altham said: “The court saw 20 minutes of body camera footage of police at the scene and it’s fair to say that the defendant was obstructive and difficult from the beginning. The police officers could not have been more accommodating.
“The officers legitimately wanted to seize the defendant’s CCTV recording equipment and the defendant had various objections, deliberately misunderstanding what the police wanted to do, suggesting that they would break the equipment by seizing it, when plainly that was entirely fanciful.
“He insisted on logging off the system before it was seized, and under the guise of doing that he re-formatted the hard drive.”
He added that Carr had then lied and said he had not deleted the footage.
He later admitted deleting it, but lied again when he said this was because he wanted to erase embarrassing footage of him around the house.
He was found guilty of one count of perverting the course of justice. He was found not guilty of two counts of breaching a restraining order, which had been imposed at an earlier hearing.
Daniel Harman, defending, said Carr, a retired fish and chip shop owner, had gone most of his life without a criminal conviction before being convicted of harassing his neighbours in October 2017.
He said: “Going to prison, for some people, is water off a duck’s back. Its an occupational hazard. Mr Carr has spent the past four days in prison, For a man of his age, that’s a life changing experience.
“The most important thing in his life is his dog, Snowy, a female dog 12 years of age. She is his life and they have never been apart.
“He has spent months trying to get the diet of Snowy down to a fine art, which he has managed to do. He’s clearly concerned about Snowy and is keen to see her again.”
Judge Altham said Carr was “just a lonely man who seems to spend his time with his dog, which is a perfectly normal use of his time, and bothering his neighbours, which is not”.
But he did not agree that a suspended sentence was an appropriate punishment for Carr’s crimes.
He said: “There was, it seems to me, an arrogant belief that he knows best, and he is not subjected to the rule of law. A keen desire not to engage with the police when investigating this matter shows the extension of the contempt he feels for the rights of his neighbours.
“There is an absolute lack of remorse, even today, from the defendant. At no point has he showed one shred of recognition of the seriousness of what he has done.”
Carr – who had previously told magistrates at a hearing in relation to earlier offences that he was being described as a “neighbour from hell” – was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for breaching his suspended sentence, and 10 weeks in prison for perverting the course of justice.
He sat with his face in his hands as Judge Altham read out his sentence.
PC Kevin Berry, who attended the sentencing, said: “Justice has been served today and the appropriate sentence has been given to Mr Carr.”