‘Voodoo’ for mums in neighbourhood dispute
AN IPSWICH court has heard how a friendly relationship soured after a child told her mother about playing with voodoo dolls and a ouija board while visiting the neighbour's house.
The child's mother, Jay-Deena Ashton, then told her daughter she was no longer allowed to go to the house of next door neighbour Suzanne Allen.
The court heard how this decision started a chain of bizarre alleged incidents, including handwritten notes being dropped off at all hours on Ms Ashton's front door, accusations of Allen dropping in uninvited when drunk, cigarette butts being thrown over the fence; the alleged theft of Havaianas thongs and a $200 pair of Tony Bianco sandals, and Allen spraying Glen 20 on meat cooking on Ms Ashton's barbecue.
The court was also told Allen was accused of poisoning garden plants, and twice appearing illuminated in her window naked, facing directly at the neighbours.
In a defended two-day hearing before Ipswich Magistrates Court, Suzanne Olivia Allen said she was not guilty of the charge of unlawfully stalking her neighbour in Chuwar between December 1, 2016, and June 9, 2018.
Two additional charges of committing an indecent act and wilful damage were withdrawn by police.
Allen told the court she held the title "Lady Suzanne" and made counter-allegations of being hassled by her "noisy" neighbours, and subjected to their party guests dropping their pants, "mooning" her house, peeing on her front door, and trespassing by cutting across her front yard.
Police prosecutor Jack Scott said the two women's daughters had played together but when Ms Ashton's child told her about an ouija board and a voodoo doll she was told to no longer visit the house.
Giving evidence, Ms Ashton told the court that the odd behaviour included Allen checking the tags of her child's clothes, and asking questions about the sponsorship money earned by her partner Damien Harrison from racing motocross.
She left many notes on their door and would arrive uninvited at the family home, banging loudly on the door late at night, with Ms Ashton claiming Allen was intoxicated at times.
The court heard one note referred to the missing Havaianas, stating: "Jay, I'm not a bad person. Cancer is evil, here is the money". A bunch of coins worth more than $10 was left with the note.
Another note stated: "I threw butts over your fence, left when you have parties, they throw butts".
Photos were shown to the court, with Ms Ashton saying they depicted a bright light left in a window for three nights that shed light directly on to their windows.
Allen later told the hearing it was her nail lamp she used when she gelled her fingernails.
Another photo depicted a tableau scene - referred to as nativity-like set up in a window - with Ms Ashton saying one was a doll laying down with the sign saying "you falling".
A series of photos were tended depicting Allen peering from her window, watching their home.
"She would abuse our guests or get naked in front of us. A couple of times she'd get naked and open up her blinds," Ms Ashton said.
"She would be pulling herself up and down (the window).
"Another night, we were washing our car for sale and she came out the front screaming and abusing us for washing it. She called the police.
"Police said she wasn't calming down and so we did the sale elsewhere later that night.
"She knocked on the doors, and woke up my brother at ridiculous times; 12.30am and 1am. She was extremely drunk.
"We had a barbecue and she was at her fence with Glen 20, spray landing on the meat we were cooking.
"She didn't like the smell of meat.
"We became aware she had a chair leaned against the fence watching us."
Ms Ashton alleged that in one incident she and Mr Harrison held a new year's eve party when Allen "walked down the driveway naked, yelling at guests".
In the two-day hearing, the series of alleged incidents was outlined including the allegation plants died near the fence when impacted by a yellow liquid.
"I took it lightly at first. It left me feeling uncomfortable and led to anxiety and not wanting to leave the house," Ms Ashton said.
During cross examination, Allen asked how Ms Ashton could film her naked over the fence when it was six foot high. Allen, in her evidence, said she did appear naked in the window only to prove they were filming her in her home which she believed to be illegal.
"I had skin-coloured knickers on," she told the court.
Allen said she had no voodoo dolls at her house and produced a straw-headed doll, saying it was a fertility doll she got in Africa and which she sometimes jokingly referred to as being a voodoo doll.
She denied having an ouija board, saying: "I've never seen one. I'm a fan of Charmed. They had something".
Allen denied deliberately spraying the meat on the barbecue, saying she'd been spraying the rocks on her side of the fence in an attempt to rid the cooking meat smell - acknowledging that "it makes me sick".
Allen also strongly denied intentionally poisoning plants.
The dolls in the window were there because she and her daughter would make up scenes.
Allen said she had become "fed up" with the noise that often came from her young neighbours.
Constable Kate Truelove gave evidence the missing sandals had not been found. She said police did not locate an ouija board or voodoo dolls.
Concluding the police case, Mr Scott said Allen had displayed fixated behaviour that at times could be described as bizarre. He said it was irrational, had been unsettling for Allen's neighbours and left them with feelings of general unease.
Magistrate Jason Schubert reserved his decision which he will hand down Wednesday afternoon.