A brazen pensioner trained her parrot to drive her neighbours mad while they sunbathed, threw dog poo in their garden and tampered with their cars in a tireless hate campaign which gave them nightmares.

Relentless Catherine Searle, 81, cajoled her pet bird to sing loudly and “overstimulated” it by blasting out her telly while Paul and Lydia Appleton tried to relax in their garden next door in Seal, Kent.

She was caught smearing grease over their vehicles 38 times on CCTV in her bizarre crusade which started after a row about parking in 2004.

The devious widow even placed sharp tacks underneath the wheels of Mr Appleton's van causing his wife to fear for his life and giving her “night terrors”.

The woman used her parrot as a 'weapon'

Stressed-out Mrs Appleton said people never took her seriously because her tormentor was an “old lady”.

She said: "If you didn't know this lady's age, you'd think this harassment would have to stop.

"Then we tell people she's 81 and they laugh thinking it's a joke.

"People think she's a little old lady, she can't do or is not capable of these things and we're not treated seriously.

"She's continuously finding ways to overstimulate her parrot for days on end by playing the television loudly and is using it as a weapon.

"There is no escaping the very loud piercing noises.

Maidstone Crown Court

“Searle goes to another room and plays loud music or puts on her TV in another room.

"She even leaves her house, going out, leaving the back door and windows open so the bird noise can be heard wherever we are.

"She waits for us to go into the back garden when we wish to relax and then will put on loud music or the TV to get the bird to perform again.”

Mrs Appleton’s victim impact statement read out at Maidstone Magistrates Court said: "I feel nervous for my husband when he's on the road, I'm in fear of what might happen, he could be hurt or cause a terrible accident.

"He has to go through a daily routine of checking the wheels to make sure there are no tacks and nothing has been tampered with."

She was slapped with a suspended 70-day prison sentence and restraining orders for her bizarre offending spree.

She already had a community order in 2017 for throwing dog poo into the Appleton's garden and had pleaded guilty to criminal damage and harassment.

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Probation officer Lauren Packham, who interviewed the stubborn pensioner, said she still “doesn't fully accept culpability”.

She said: "She believes she is as much a victim in this neighbourly dispute”.

Prosecuting James Nichols said: "She would deliberately try and harass them.

"On one occasion she started playing loud opera music, which caused the bird to sing louder."

Searle, who lives off a £114 weekly pension, has been ordered to pay £779.77 in costs and fines.

Mr Appleton, who hasn't spoken to his neighbour since 2017, added: "She's been given a warning - offend again and you go to prison."