A man who carried out a sustained campaign of abuse against his gay neighbours and called for gay people to be “put down” has been jailed.

Reginald Brayford, of Beaumont Road, Plymouth, will spent 5 months behind bars, having admitted to magistrates of pursuing a course of conduct amounting to the harassment of the couple between January and September.

Brayford is set to appeal the sentence at Plymouth Crown Court.

Plymouth Magistrates Court heard Brayford’s actions left one of the men feeling “sick and depressed”.

He shouted that gay people had “no right to be in society” and that they should “go back to where they belong”.

The Plymouth Herald newspaper reports presiding magistrate Yvonne Quinlan told Brayford: “This was not an isolated incident. It was prolonged over eight months and was relentless. It went on late at night.

“This sort of grossly offensive behaviour cannot be tolerated in today’s society.”

Angela Furniss, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Brayford lived next door to a man whose partner often stayed.

She said they often heard Brayford shouting abuse inside and outside his house, usually after 11pm.

The court heard that on one occasion Brayford was revving a motorcycle as he shouted slurs; during another occasion he used an air horn.

Will Willden, defending, said Brayford was “disgusted” at the language but could not remember the incidents.

He added that a mixture of vodka and medication Brayford was taking may have affected his actions.

Mr Willden said Brayford had decided to move house to avoid further trouble.

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