Wales: Judge’s anger at light sentence for anti-gay neighbour
A judge has spoken of his frustration after he was forced to allow a woman who has caused years of homophobic torment for her neighbours, to be given a suspended sentence.
According to Wales Online, District Judge Bodfan Jenkins at Cardiff Magistrates Court said he had little option but to release 48-year-old Jayne Collins, who had been remanded in custody since August, when she was found guilty of harassment, public order offences and racially aggravated behaviour.
Collins, from Llanishen in Cardiff, subjected Helen Leach and Lauryn Bradley to homophobic abuse after they moved into their flat in September 2007.
The court heard Collins “outed” Ms Leach and on one occasion started banging a drum and shouting for several hours in the night.
She described Ms Leach as a “mail order lesbian” and also called another neighbour “a fat git”.
Despite previously claiming to be the widow of a Romany prince, the court was told Collins had no mental health issues.
Judge Jenkins said he was limited to a maximum of six months for all but the racially aggravated charge – which was not serious enough to give a heavy sentence.
Because Collins had been in custody since August, and convention means prisoners are normally released half way through sentences, she would be out in weeks.
Judge Jenkins gave her a number of suspended sentences, the longest being six months.
Collins was given a 24 month supervision order and banned from making contact with her neighbours “forever”.
She was also ordered to pay £300 in court costs.