Notorious ‘neighbour from hell’ sentenced for groping teenage boy on beach

Posted On 14 Oct 2020 at 5:45 pm

Brighton Magistrates’ Court

A woman who became notorious as a neighbour from hell came up behind a 15-year-old boy and grabbed his crotch, a court heard today.

Alexandra Woolnough, 45, also known as Al Capone, was drunk when she staggered up to the boy, who was with his friends on the beach near the King Alfred leisure centre on Tuesday 11 August.

She grabbed him by the neck and then reached around his waist and grabbed his crotch.

The boy’s friends told a nearby lifeguard, who then waited with them for 90 minutes for the police to arrive.

Woolnough, who also calls herself Olga Alexandrovna Woolnough, of no fixed abode, was arrested and then charged and was kept in custody until her sentencing at Brighton Magistrates’ Court today.

She was also sentenced for assaulting a nurse just days earlier at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, where she had been admitted while drunk.

Prosecuting, Martina Sherlock said: “The boy felt uncomfortable due to her shouting, ‘I’m Russian!’ And it was clear that she was drunk.

“Without any warning, he says the woman came up behind him, grabbed him by the back of the neck and tried to bend him over.

“He was then grabbed again by the woman on the back of his head and this time she reached around his waist and, over his clothing, grabbed his genitals.

“He moved away and his friends started shouting at her.

“He says he was very upset and he was crying. This woman was not far enough away from him and he was fearful that she would notice them again.

“At one point she approached them and offered them money to tell the lifeguard to go away.

“She also offered the lifeguard money to go away.”

Defending, Richard Finlay said that Woolnough had thought the boy was her partner when she approached him.

He said that she was drinking heavily because of personal problems in her life and had been very drunk when both incidents had happened.

He said: “She had a substantial period of being free from alcohol but fell back into it after becoming homeless in October 2019.

“She now has second-stage liver failure and knows that if she carries on drinking in the way she has been, she won’t have long to live.”

Woolnough previously lived in Marine Parade, Worthing, where she became notorious as a neighbour from hell, holding all-night parties, threatening neighbours, being drunk in public and painting her historic seafront home hot pink.

Three years ago a district judge at Brighton Magistrates’ Court approved a closure order for a property in Camelford Street, Brighton, where Woolnough had been living because of drug-related anti-social behaviour.

She was given an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in 2015, banning her from being drunk or having alcohol in public, threatening people or making a noise inside her house loud enough to be heard outside.

At the time, Sussex Police said that she had waged a “reign of terror” against her neighbours.

She was eventually evicted in 2016.

The court heard today that she has 32 convictions for 67 offences. None of her previous offences have been sexual, other than a charge of indecent behaviour for which she was given a conditional discharge by a court in Northern Ireland last December.

Today, she was given two prison sentences of four months each, to run concurrently, suspended for two years.

She was also told to carry out 30 days of rehabilitation activity, a combination of alcohol and behaviour rehabilitation.

She was told to pay £100 compensation to the nurse, Hayley Ball, and £150 to the 15-year-old boy.

  1. Peter Reuben Reply

    Had she been a he she’d have been looking at a substantial he

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