Woman denies trap for neighbour after row

Janet Pearson
Janet Pearson

A woman set a tripwire trap for her neighbour in a block of luxury flats after a row got out of hand, a court was told.

Janet Pearson, 57, is accused of planting the wire, which left her neighbour needing surgery after she was sent careering down a stairwell.

The court heard the row happened after Pearson placed her belongings in a female neighbour’s storage cupboard at the flats in Clifton Drive, Lytham.

The neighbour was rushed to hospital after suffering injuries to her face, neck and back.

The alleged incident happened at around 6am on January 21.

The lights in the hallway had not worked since November so it was dark.

The neighbour, who lives with her son in the penthouse flat, said: “I was carrying a bin bag in one hand and an overnight bag in the other.

“I felt something sharp on my shin and that was the last thing I remember.”

“I fell down two flights of stairs. I was lying at the bottom crying because I’d hurt my wrist really badly.

“I have a fused wrist and it bent backwards. It can’t do that and I still remember the pain. I could taste blood. It was on my face and in my hair.

“As I walked back up the stairs, I used my phone to see what had caused me to fall.

“I shined the light at the top of the stairs and then I saw the wire.

“Her door was closed on the wire to keep it in place.”

The woman sustained injuries to her neck, lower back and her face, and she needed surgery to her wrist to repair the damage, a jury at Preston Crown Court was told.

Kimberley Obrusik, prosecuting, said there had been “a number of issues” between the two neighbours dating back to summer 2013.

Giving evidence at Pearson’s trial, the neighbour, who has owned the flat for 15 years, said: “There have been some disagreements.

“I asked her if she could take her things out of my cupboard in the hallway and she didn’t.

“It’s my store cupboard and I paid a lot of money to have it installed.

“Last summer, she moved in a notorious homeless man who was known in the area.

“He drinks a lot. I came home in the middle of the night and he was standing there in her dressing gown smoking a cigarette.

“He thought it was funny to throw his cigarette butts into my flower pots so I asked him to stop.

“He shouted abuse at me and was very offensive so, when I told my son, he went round and told him not to do it again.”

The court heard Pearson had complained to the council on a number of occasions after water from the roof had leaked through her neighbour’s flat and into her’s below.

The neighbour added: “She thought it was coming from my washing machine and I got a call from the council about it.

“I told them it was coming from a leak in the roof but she kept complaining so they sent round two environmental health officers.”

When interviewed by police, Pearson denied setting the tripwire.

Pearson is charged with assaulting her neighbour, causing her actual bodily harm.

(Proceeding)