A sculptor has been slapped with a restraining order after he decided to stick a huge iron sign up which gives the V's over the garden fence to his next door neighbours. Charming, eh?
Baron Tremain, 54, attached the cheeky artwork at the top of a pole to face farm secretary Lisa Woodcock, 42, and her accountant husband Jason.
The insulting ironwork was erected at the boundary fence between their two homes in the hamlet of Alby Hill, Norfolk, over a six week period last year so it could be seen by the couple and their two children.
This is the iron sign that Baron Tremain erected. Credit: East Anglia News Service
The gesture landed Tremain in Norwich magistrates' court where he denied a harassment charge.
This was dismissed by magistrates before he could stand trial after he agreed to be given a restraining order banning him from any direct or indirect contact with Mr and Mrs Woodcock.
Paul Roach, prosecuting, told the court: "The sculpture, a rather offensive sculpture, was put on the boundary of the two properties. It could only be construed as the V-sign, or a two-fingered salute."
Mrs Woodcock, a farm secretary, moved into the house three years ago with husband James. Credit: East Anglia News Service
Alastair Taunton, defending, insisted that Tremain had not put up the sculpture at his three bedroom home Flint Cottage with the intent of causing offence. But he said that his client accepted that 'putting it up where it was wasn't the best idea'.
Mr Taunton added: "He wants to be the better man. He's got no prior convictions. He and his partner have decided to put Flint Cottage up for sale."
The court was told how the metalwork sculptor had also repeatedly hurled abuse at them and shone a torch into their windows at night.
The couple revealed how the ill-feeling started after they objected to Tremain building what was described as a blacksmith's workshop in his garden.
Mr and Mrs Wooodcock said they finally complained to police after Tremain allegedly ignored a civil injunction requiring him to stop harassing them.
Baron Tremain, 54, targeted his next door neighbours with a v-sign. Credit: East Anglia News Service
Presiding magistrate Paul Frary gave Tremain a non-convicting restraining order for six months 'to protect Lisa and Jason from further harassment'.
He told Tremain not to contact his neighbours directly or indirectly, except through solicitors, due to civil proceedings, and warned him: "If you breach the order you could go to prison."
Mrs Woodcock said after the hearing: "I just feel distressed and anxious nearly all the time. I've lost nearly two stone. We've lived here for three years. This was our dream house and it was for 18 months.
"All I want, all we want, is to be left alone. If this restraining order works it will be fantastic. I just want it to go away."
She said the V-sign sculpture first appeared last May after a long-standing feud and was erected at different times of the day, often when she was at home alone.
It's claimed that the offending sign was erected at different times. Credit: East Anglia News Service
Mr Woodcock said: "He called me a tosser and stuck his fingers up. He just carried on abusing us and the police didn't really seem interested. He lost the plot.
"All we wanted was for him to give an undertaking to the court that he would not harass us, but instead he carried on coming after us. The reason we got the injunction in the end was because he would not stop following us around the garden and swearing at us in front of the kids.
"All we wanted was to be left alone. Nobody wants to be harassed in their own garden especially when kids are involved."
Tremain said after the hearing that he was unable to comment due to his restraining order, but he described his V-sign sculpture as 'quite hilarious'.
He insisted that it had been on display for 'not that long'. Tremain added: "It's a difficult one, this. I can't really say much."
Featured Image Credit: East Anglia News Service