A 64-year old woman has been sentenced to jail in the UK for harassing her neighbours, a gay couple.

Elvira Baptiste, who has 10 children and more than 20 grand children, appeared at a Bristol Magistrates Court on December 15, according to Bristol Live. She was charged with pursuing conduct which amounted to harassment of Dean Griffiths and Andrew Knight between May 22 and August 21, 2020.

Warning: This story has details of homophobic conduct and use of gay slurs that might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

“She has made our lives misery. She seems to be watching us all the time and has put posters up in her window. We cannot use our garden as it feels like she is watching us,” Dean Griffiths’s victim impact statement was read in court by the prosecution. 

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“I am not sleeping very well and our relationship is suffering. We are constantly living on edge because of this behaviour- we are not comfortable at home and we are both struggling.”

“We loved the flat but, within a week, we knew we would have to move out because of her behaviour. I have experienced forms of hate before, but never to this extent- she comes from a place of aggression. Her behaviour has caused us to move out, which shows how much it affects us.”

Homophobic Harassment

Towards the end of May, issues cropped up when Baptiste shouted at them to pick up their dog mess. She called them “stupid fucking queer”. She also called the couple “disgusting”, saying that they should be with women rather than men and added that no one wanted them to live there.

On one occasion at the start of July, she held a soiled tampon and shouted at them to “fuck off”. She even played ‘Boom Bye Bye’, a song which has references to shooting gay men in the head. She played that seven times until police were called to speak to her.

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“He dreads coming home to this situation and it has caused him to break down in tears,” Alison May, who spoke for the prosecution, read Knight’s statement in the court.

“I am now seeking counselling. Why would a human being behave like this? We are having to move because of this behaviour. It appears she is enjoying watching us suffer.”

Grandmother Pleads ‘Not Guilty’

Baptiste was arrested and her bail conditions included not contacting the couple or playing offensive songs like the one she played. However, she did not stop there. She made offensive posters with references to anal sex. Other posters had statements like “wicked lives must burn in hell one day” and even referred to a “mangina bitch”. The court heard that she shouted at the couple and call them “pussies”. 

Sarah Turland who was defending Baptiste said that the defendant does not plead guilt or culpability for the offence. 

 “She tells me this as not a one-way street and she tells me that the complainants threw things into her garden, including a quantity of gravel. She feels she was a victim in this situation,” Turland said.

The court sentenced Baptiste  sentenced to 16 weeks in prion, of which eight will be served in jail.

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

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