A man who sent offensive letters to his neighbours over a seven-year period has been jailed and handed a 20-year restraining order.
Johnathon Warner-Johnson, 52 of Wellhouse Road, Beckenham was sentenced to two years and four months’ imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday, 16 August after pleading guilty to one count of criminal damage and two counts of stalking.
He must also pay £1,959 compensation.
The court heard that between 2009 and 2016, Warner-Johnson maliciously targeted a married couple who had lived on the same street as him for many years.
He sent them more than 200 derogatory letters as part of a hate mail campaign causing significant alarm and distress. He accused his neighbours of paedophilia and wrote cruel letters about a family relative with Down’s Syndrome.
Warner-Johnson later damaged their car as well as their son’s vehicle, damaged their fence and sprayed their plants and lawn with weed killer.
To disguise his activity, Warner-Johnson pretended to receive the same hate letters.
His neighbours confided in him their anguish and upset, unaware that he was the cause of their distress.
Police were alerted to the letters in 2009 and became suspicious in June 2016 when a letter was received purporting to be from another neighbour. The writing matched the previous letters and information in the letter had only been shared with Warner-Johnson.
The victims reviewed the CCTV they had recently installed at their property and caught Warner-Johnson throwing rubbish into their rear garden and spraying weed killer in the front garden at 05:26hrs on 20 July 2016.
Police arrested Warner-Johnson on 2 December after viewing the footage and found a folder containing copies of the letters and address stickers. He was charged on 13 April with one count of criminal damage and two counts of stalking.
The motive for the attacks is not known.
Detective Constable Liz Truan, Bromley CID said: “Over a seven-year period, Warner-Johnson launched a calculated malicious campaign against his neighbours.
“His hate campaign brought significant alarm and distress to them over a prolonged period and it is right he has been jailed and handed such a long restraining order.”