A 50-year-old Zimbabwean woman was last week given a last chance to stay out of prison by a Brighton and Hove judge after she had been convicted of racially abusing her neighbour.
Constance Ndawana, 50, unemployed, had already been served with a restraining order, having previously attacked 49-year-old taxi driver Medhat Boktor.
Daniel Henderson, prosecuting, told Lewes Crown Court that, despite the restraining order, Ndawana harassed Boktor, yelling:
You’re a fucking Muslim! You’re a fucking Arab!
Ndawana denied breaching the restraining order and denied racially and religiously aggravated harassment at an earlier hearing at Brighton Magistrates’ Court but was found guilty of both charges.
Brighton & Hove News reports that Ndawana was sent to the crown court for a sentence where Henderson said she had for some considerable time been a nuisance to the Boktor family.
He said that, in October 2020, Ndawana was given a community order and a restraining order at Brighton Magistrates’ Court for a racially aggravated assault.
She had attacked Boktor in June 2020, hurling a mobile phone and racially motivated insults at him.
Henderson said that since then she had also used her hose to flood her neighbour’s patio, emptied the contents of his bin and shouted other insults at him.
Boktor told the police that his family was tired of the abuse they receive from Constance which he said was affecting their health.
He said that she showed no respect and added:
I have made repeated requests to the council in the hope of getting her rehoused but as yet we have had no response.
Sarah Seear, defending, said that Ndawana had come to Britain 25 years ago and lived locally for the past 20 years, working in catering and care homes until 2020.
The single mother first got into trouble with the law just over two years ago when she was convicted of drunk driving after flipping her car near her home on the Knoll Estate. Miss Seear said:
She has been sadly relying on alcohol to cope with life. She has concerns for both her parents who have had strokes and are in Zimbabwe.
Judge Martin Huseyin said:
You’re getting close – very close – with your behaviour to finding yourself in custody.
The court will put you in jail if you continue behaving in a way that gives the court no other option.
You have been making the lives of your neighbours miserable. You may be miserable yourself and in a very difficult situation – and drinking doesn’t help – and one has every sympathy for that but you can’t take it out on your neighbours.
The offences are unpleasant and it’s the persistence of them that causes misery.
The judge sentenced Ndawana to 36 weeks in prison in total, suspended for two years, and ordered her to attend 25 rehabilitation sessions.
She was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to Mr Boktor and a victim surcharge of £156.
A new restraining order was imposed. The order prohibits Ndawana from contacting Boktor or his wife Teriza Nashed for three years unless for mediation organised by her landlord, Brighton and Hove City Council.