Nightmare Huddersfield neighbour said he could see inside woman's bedroom and pinned charge sheet to wall

Nightmare neighbour Mark Crawshaw has been jailed
Nightmare neighbour Mark Crawshaw has been jailed -Credit:West Yorkshire Police

A nightmare neighbour pinned a charge sheet to his victim's house and told her he could see in her bedroom in a campaign of harassment that lasted nearly 20 months.

Mark Crawshaw's neighbours - a woman, her daughter and husband - had befriended him and helped take of him during the Covid-19 pandemic, but he soon turned on them.

The woman and her family would cook for him, feed his cat and ferried him to and from hospital appointments before he turned aggressive, Leeds Crown Court heard on Wednesday. Prosecutor Jade Edwards said his disturbing campaign began around July 2022 when his behaviour "changed" and he began taking drugs. Ms Edwards said his victim - the woman who lived at the property in the Lockwood area of Huddersfield - "recalled a number of incidents.

Read more: 'Premier League' dealer used ill-gotten gains to fund his lavish wedding

She said: "On 10th December 2022 at around 8.15pm, the couple were sat on their sofa when they heard something in the garden and saw the defendant. He was shouting, 'Come out you p***, I will have you and your f***** wife.' The couple contacted the police. Between the 10th and 20th December 2022, she [the victim] was returning home and he was sat out on his doorstep.

"He approached her and said, 'I'm going to have you both. Is that your bedroom window? I have pictures of you in your bedroom.' She was worried and said she didn't feel safe or have any privacy in her own home...

"On the 20th December 2022, she was leaving home to go shopping with her daughter and they got to her vehicle when he came across. He was agitated and waving his arms around saying, 'It's a good job I don't punch women. I'm going to get you both.'"

The court heard the incidents stopped when Crawshaw, 46, of no fixed abode, was recalled to prison. Ms Edwards said he sent a letter of apology to his victim while in custody - but his behaviour continued once he was released.

It was said that on September 9 last year, the woman returned home as Crawshaw was stood in his doorway. He shouted at her - which she ignored - and 15 minutes later when she went to put something in her bin, he said: "Tell him I'm going to kick his f****** head in." On December 19 last year, at around 7.45pm, he was captured on the family's Ring doorbell walking down the garden path.

Crawshaw then rang the doorbell and said: "When I get hold of you, I'm going to ring your f****** neck." Ms Edwards said: "She answered using her app and he walked down the path and said: 'See you when I get hold of you, I'm going to bust your f****** head."

As Ms Edwards relayed that incident to the court, Crawshaw - who was appearing over a video link from HMP Leeds - said: "Bull****."

The prosecutor said that in January this year, the woman and her husband discovered a previous charge sheet of Crawshaw's on their wall. It was said the charge sheet was "soaked in urine" - which Crawshaw disputed. Ms Edwards said that the woman's daughter left the family home to live with her father, due to Crawshaw's behaviour which finally came to an end in February this year.

Crawshaw said he handed himself to in to police. Ms Edwards said: "He was bailed with conditions not to contact the woman or to go into her driveway or garden. He was reported as being evicted. At 7pm that night [February 27], she was informed by his landlord he had left and the locks had been charged. Around an hour and a half later she was on WhatsApp with a neighbour and heard a bang outside.

"Thinking it was her shopping, she checked the doorbell but couldn't see anything. She got a message [from a neighbour] saying she had almost knocked the defendant down on the road outside. She checked the doorbell [footage] which showed him throwing something at her car."

Crawshaw went on to admit harassment with fear of violence. In a victim impact statement, the woman told how she had lost two stone since Crawshaw's offending began and feared for her family's safety during the course of the campaign.

Ms Edwards told the court: "Driving home from work, she describes as absolutely awful, shaking all of the way home and petrified he he would start on her as soon as she got out of the car."

The woman told she has suffered with lack of sleep and has been unable to focus on work. She said her employer allowed her to work from home, and she would join her husband in London, where he would work instead. She said in her statement: "Even now, I'm still looking over my shoulder in fear. I've stopped coming home for lunch and have cancelled some of my friend and family visits for birthdays and Christmas. I've stopped going out and having visitors wherever possible and have stopped talking to neighbours in the street."

Get all the latest and breaking West Yorkshire court news straight to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter here.

The woman's husband also provided a statement to the court and said he even believed he had seen Crawshaw in a supermarket in London, due to his anxiety. He said he still suffers sleepless nights and felt "trapped" in the house during school holidays. He said he "just wanted the defendant to leave them alone," Ms Edwards said. She added: "He used to help people out, but now won't in case they end up in a similar situation. This has altered him and he hates it."

It was said Crawshaw had 30 previous convictions on his record for 76 offences, mostly inquisitive. He had previously been made the subject of a suspended sentence order, which he was in breach of when committing the harassment offences, for being concerned in the supply of class B and C drugs.

Mitigating, Leila Taleb, told the court Crawshaw had suffered with his mental health and went into a "downward spiral" after the death of his mother in 2018. She said: "Half of the offending was before the suspended sentence order [was put in place] and half after it...He went into a downward spiral after the death of his mother in 2018, who he was very close with. He clearly used drugs as a crutch for that..."

The court heard Crawshaw had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Her Honour Judge Penelope Belcher jailed Crawshaw for 30 months and made him the subject of an indefinite restraining order relating to the victim, her husband and daughter, until further order is made.