NEWS AND OPINION: If the relationship between you and your neighbour is so bad that they consistently try and poison your cat (or kill them in any other way), I’d recommend moving home. Just do it quietly without complaint. I’ll tell you why but first I’ll tell you about Barbera Minns in Cornwall who’s the neighbour from hell. It always amazes me how people can behave so badly and yet believe they are nice people.
Adele Richards and Gary Authers live in Falmouth, Cornwall. They have a cat. It has not been explained to me why Barbera Minns hates them (perhaps she hates cats and the couples’ cat is wandering onto her garden?) but she surely does. To the point where she:
- Attempts to kill their cat (ongoing) by putting down rat poison
- Chucks leaves over their cat
- Plays loud music
- Throws dog feces into their garden
- Assaults Adele Richards
They went to the police and eventually obtained a restraining order against Minns which she ignored. She was in violation of the court order on four occasions between July 2022 and April 2023.
The judge decided that she has ‘complex needs’. Sounds like she has mental health problems which is arguably a common-sense conclusion. Richards and Authers installed security cameras to allow them to keep a full diary of her miscreant behavior.
In a victim statement read out at the latest court appearance, Richards said the cost to their lives had been ‘immeasurable’ and “We live in fear as to what Minns may do next.”
Minns denies wrongdoing. She said: “It is the biggest load of rubbish. Anybody who knows me knows I’m nothing like that!”
She won’t change. Neighbour disputes like this where one party is deeply entrenched in their attitudes and where there is a long-term animosity, cannot be resolved. These disputes ruin the amenity of the place where you live. It fatally undermines the place.
If you complain and fight the bad neighbour, you’ll have that on the record and it must be disclosed when you sell your home. It will prevent many sales proceeding.
Better to keep quiet and leave. I know it is a big step but staying is worse. The first duty of a cat guardian is to ensure that they are safe.