Neighbour from hell jailed for 15 months

Posted On 08 Jun 2010 at 6:44 pm

A neighbour from hell who rigged up speakers to cause people living in a Brighton tower block as much misery as possible has been jailed.

Lionel Staff, 47, blasted loud music and computer games and screamed and shouted through the night at his flat in Wilshire House, Lavendar Street.

Neither the seizure of his stereo system on two occasions nor an Asbo could stop Staff wreaking havoc.

He has now been evicted from his council flat — and jailed for breaching his Asbo by threatening a neighbour.

At Brighton County Court last Thursday, Judge Coltart granted Brighton and Hove City Council’s application for a full possession.

At a previous hearing council lawyer Len Batten told the court that council officers visiting Staff’s flat found that power speakers had been fixed to the ceiling and the floors in a deliberate attempt the cause maximum disruption to his neighbours.

When officers finally seized equipment including drums, maracas, a music system and TV, he retaliated by persistently throwing golf balls and heavy objects at the walls, and chanting loud obscene ‘football style’ chants.’

Staff was eventually arrested after threatening a neighbour and, last month received a 15 month prison sentence for breaching his ASBO.

Traumatised neighbours also told the court how Staff’s behaviour had affected their health. One said afterwards: “He made our lives completely miserable. We couldn’t sleep and at one point I was considering giving up my training course as I just couldn’t concentrate.

“It’s brilliant news that he’s been evicted. I feel like I’ve got my home back again.”

Councillor Maria Caulfield, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Evicting a tenant really is a last resort but in this case we were left with no alternative. Our residents have a right to peace and quiet in their own homes and it is clear that Mr Staff had no intention of changing his behaviour.

“These families have clearly being subjected to unacceptable levels of noise for a long period of time which has had a serious effect on their quality of life and wellbeing.

The message is clear – this council will not tolerate noise nuisance of any kind and will not hesitate to track down and prosecute and eventually evict those responsible.”

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