Plasterer forced to move home after string of accusations by neighbour
Plasterer forced to move home after string of accusations by ‘serial complainer’ neighbour including ‘over-revving’ his work van and taunting her with a Roy Orbison tune saw him face six months in jail
- Karen Chazen, 54, filed 30 different reports to police against James Monk, 36
- Mr Monk faced up to six months jail after being charged with harassment
- The case was thrown out after it emerged Miss Chazen was a ‘serial complainer’
A plasterer has been forced to move home after a string of accusations by a neighbour meant he could face six months in jail.
Karen Chazen, 54, filed 30 different reports to police against plasterer James Monk claiming he parked his vehicle deliberately outside her lounge window so she could not see outside and would repeatedly rev the van whenever he parked up or left.
Miss Chazen, a yoga teacher and social worker who lives alone, further alleged Mr Monk, 36, mocked her by whistling Roy Orbison’s 1960 hit ‘Only the Lonely’ within her earshot.
But the case was thrown out at Sefton magistrates court in Merseyside, after hearing that Mr Monk, was forced to move out of his home due to the continuous allegations from Miss Chazen and faced up to six months in jail if convicted of harassment.
JPs dismissed the case after it emerged she had also complained about a string of other people including her previous neighbours and about workmen operating outside her former home.
Karen Chazen (pictured), 54, filed 30 different reports to police against plasterer James Monk claiming he parked his vehicle deliberately outside her window and would repeatedly rev the van whenever he parked up or left
James Monk (pictured with his partner), 36, was forced to move home after a string of accusations by a neighbour
Miss Chazen who also works as a yoga teacher as well as a social worker and lives alone, further alleged Mr Monk mocked her by whistling Roy Orbison’s 1960 hit ‘Only the Lonely’
It emerged Miss Chazen had further complained to the owner of her apartment block about water damage to her ceiling and light fittings when no leaks were found and she also filed 14 different complaints about the police investigation into Mr Monk.
In all she gave officers three witness statements about her neighbour – one amounting to 18 pages. The costs of bringing the failed case against him is expected to run into many thousands of pounds.
The court heard Mr Monk had been living trouble free in an apartment block in Waterloo, Liverpool for ten years but problem began on the actual day Miss Chazen moved into the flat below him in June 2022.
Miss Chazen told the hearing: ‘I had an infection which needed root canal surgery and there was lots of noise upstairs which went on for four hours.
‘Nobody likes somebody knocking on a door asking you to be quiet and I just said “I’m awfully sorry, I am unwell” but Mr Monk replied “I’ve got a f***ing kid”.’
Miss Chazen who wept in the witness box, then told how she subsequently had to start moving neighbours’ wheelie bins which kept mysteriously being left outside her flat.
She made a complaint to the flat management company and then allegedly saw Mr Monk pushing one bin towards her flat before throwing it at her, narrowly missing her head.
She added: ‘I called police and reported him for assault but they said “If there is anything else let us know.” No sooner had they gone he was calling me a “f***ing clown” and saying it’s a “f***ing clown show” and was whistling clown music.
‘He then started parking his van so that I could not see out of the window and he would rev it. He would rev it 10 or 20 times as he arrived and left. He would also beep the horn at all times of the day and up to 8pm.
‘The vehicle was regularly parked over and damaged my lavender flowers. His van was almost touching my living room window.’
The court heard Mr Monk had been living trouble free in an apartment block (pictured) in Waterloo, Liverpool for ten years
Miss Chazen who wept in the witness box, told how she had to start moving neighbours’ wheelie bins which kept mysteriously being left outside her flat
‘At times my car was blocked in so that I could not leave the driveway and I had to wait until he had gone out to avoid abuse. I was frightened to leave.
‘I believe he tampered with the CCTV. He knocked the camera so it was pointing down so that it could not record anything and was also banging on the windows constantly four or five or six times a day.
‘I did speak to the police many times. They were reluctant to help me but I kept calling anyway as I could not access my driveway because of his vehicle crossing the parking space.
‘I had a Ring Doorbell installed but soon after Mr Monk and vehicle would not be visible. They would jump out of the picture while everybody else’s vehicle was present. Car doors would open and Mr Monk would be pixelated. I showed it to the police but they could not explain it.
‘Nobody was interfering with the body of the camera itself but maybe the waves of it. I am not an expert but I have learnt from Google that you can jam the wifi. I actually had to contact Ring and my wifi provider to see if they could help me.’
Police spoke to Monk and suggested the warring pair attend mediation sessions but Miss Chazen added: ‘His behaviour got worse, became more frequent, more nasty. There was name calling, banging on the windows, banging on the door, just intimidating me, several times a day.
‘I have trained as a mediator but I did not feel confident mediation was appropriate here as we had gone beyond that.
‘He was calling me a ‘f***ing crank’ because I called the police and that he had been made aware of that. He was outside the property shouting, ‘No wonder your husband f***ed off.’
‘Once my car was burgled when I had locked it. I believed Mr Monk jammed the wifi to the lock on the door at the back as the guy who broke into my car went into it without making any effort to open the door.
‘I later heard him whistling, Roy Orbison’s Only The Lonely which I believed was directed at me.’
Police spoke to Mr Monk (pictured with his partner) and suggested he and Miss Chazen attend mediation sessions but she id not think that was ‘appropriate’
The court was told that when Miss Chazen was living at her previous home, she made complaints about workmen starting work before 8am and accused the site manager of verbally abusing her
She had also accused a neighbour at her previous property of banging on her doors, using a designated car parking space, having noisy dogs and slamming her doors late at night
A series of CCTV clips were played to court showing Monk’s van making one loud rev noise or beeping twice as he goes out whilst others showed an unknown person make a wolf whistle.
Photos taken by Miss Chazen showed Mr Monk’s van parked up close to her bedroom window with the vehicle covering the flower bed – but not on the flowers themselves.
But under cross examination Mr Monk’s counsel Mr Ellis told how when Miss Chazen was living at her previous home, she made complaints about workmen starting work before 8am and accused the site manager of verbally abusing her.
She had also accused a neighbour at her previous property of banging on her doors, using a designated car parking space, having noisy French bulldogs and slamming her doors late at night. She also called police to claim the neighbour had killed her sunflowers.
Mr Ellis said Miss Chazen had ‘wanted Mr Monk out’ of his home and told her: ‘There was a pattern going on. For ten years, Mr Monk is there without any problems whatsoever. When you move in he apparently turns into a Mr Hyde character who is making your life hell. Strange that.
‘You were desperate to get police around to tell him off even though he had not done anything. Police got complaint after complaint after complaint but the only person who is causing any problem is you.
‘There is a queue of people you have complained about. You are a serial complainer, are you not?’
In response Miss Chazen replied: ‘I know my rights. I am a serial victim.’
In dismissing the case JP Charles Wood said: ‘We have to consider the credibility of the complainant and she was not consistent, she was vague, and at times somewhat confused.
‘We did not feel that the prosecution proved all the required elements of evidence. There has to be two or more behaviours to constitute a course of harassment but we found no evidence that would show that.’
Mr Monk and Miss Chazen both declined to comment after the case.
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