A NEIGHBOUR who conducted a 10-year campaign of harassment against a young family has been jailed for three years.

John Gardner, of Dean Road, Hounslow, subjected his next-door neighbours in the quiet terraced street to years of verbal abuse, leaving them fearful of their safety.

The 64-year-old was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court last Friday to three years behind bars after being found guilty of harassment. He was also issued with a restraining order preventing him from having any contact with the victims, who cannot be named.

It is the third time he has been convicted for similar offences, following earlier rulings in 2002 and 2004.

The court had heard how Gardner would subject the family, who moved into the road in 2000, to abuse almost every day.

He would bang on walls, verbally abuse the mother in front of her very young children and throw water and rubbish at the family over the garden fence, jurors were told.

Police told the court how their investigations revealed the property's previous occupants had also suffered harassment at the hands of Gardner, stretching back to 1989.

Inspector Manpreet Bains, of Hounslow police, said: "This family's life was made hell for the past 10 years and the sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence."

Sentencing Gardner, Judge Hezlett Colgan said: "Over a period of time you made persistent and unremitting insulting remarks that put (the victim) in fear of violence.

"I bear in mind the unpleasant nature of your actions, the menace intended, your persistence, your disregard of your earlier offending and your total absence of remorse. I also keep in mind that your house is now on the market, your age and your health."

Speaking after the sentencing, PC Ky Bailey, of Hounslow police, said: "This was a complex case which had a very detrimental effect on the family life of the victims, who were subjected to extreme harassment on an almost daily basis within their own home environment.

"Police were involved on numerous occasions over the years and Mr Gardner was advised regarding his actions and the consequences should he persist in this type of behaviour.

"In many of the cases reported to police, there was no independent evidence to support a prosecution and therefore he felt he was able to carry outs acts of harassment and anti-social behaviour towards the victims safe in the knowledge he would not be detected.

"The sentence passed down at court reflects the seriousness of the offence and shows that police take this form of behaviour very seriously and will do whatever they can to assist the victims and bring the suspects to justice."