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Home / Latest News / Teenage girl tells court of ‘unease’ at security cameras honed in on her home

Teenage girl tells court of ‘unease’ at security cameras honed in on her home

A former House of Lords  specialist advisor and his  partner directed CCTV cameras on their next-door  neighbours’ garden and  driveway, a court heard.

Desmond Hughes, 65, of  Began Road, Cardiff, and  Clare Anderson, 50, both  pleaded not guilty at Cardiff  Magistrates’ Court to harassment without violence.

The court heard evidence today from 18-year-old  Talia Hancock, who lives  with her parents in a  semi-detached home that  shares a wall with Hughes  and Anderson’s property.

Miss Hancock told the  court she had never really  spoken to the couple since  her family arrived in 2011,  but had been made to feel  uneasy when she saw security cameras honed in on  her home.

She told District Judge  Bodfan Jenkins that in 2011  she

saw surveillance cameras aimed “on to our back  garden” and “pointed directly on to our drive”.

“It was directly angled,” she  said. “It wasn’t pointed on to  his property – just ours.”

The teenager told the  court that she thought the  white cameras had remained there “until this  year”.

“At the moment there’s  not anything on our property  I don’t think. But when we  moved in, the cameras were  pointing on our garden,” she  added.

During his cross-examination, defending barrister  Giles Newell said that the  teenager “can’t be sure what  exactly these cameras are  focusing on” and that she  had “never asked why they  have got those cameras”.

But while Miss Hancock  accepted she had not approached them, she adamantly said that the cameras  were focused on the grounds  of her family’s home.

“I’m certain it was pointing directly on to our  garden,” she said, when  asked about the rear house  camera.

Police officer Christopher  Fennessy confirmed there  were a number of cameras  on Hughes’ and Anderson’s  property but found no evidence of recordings.

Miss Hancock also told the  court how she had been  made to feel uneasy by the  constant staring from her  neighbours.

“They would always look  up at my window. I was always aware of that from the  moment I moved in,” she  said. “They would stand  there with their hands on  their hips staring up at my  bedroom until I moved away  from my window.”

Prosecution barrister  Adam Corbin asked when  Hughes and Anderson  stopped staring into through  her window at the front of  the house.

“It hasn’t stopped,” replied  the 18-year-old.

“It’s whenever they’re on their drive.”

Hancock would be told by her mother to ignore the couple, but the teenager told the court it got to a stage where her parents would have to open and close the curtains.

“My mum would always tell me to ignore them but it got to the point where I felt really intimidated towards them.

“Whenever I’m in my bedroom now, my curtains are always drawn.”

She told the court “it happened quite frequently” with the last time it happened being a month or two ago. But Mr Newell said the 18-year-old “had never actually had a conversation with them” and that “the houses are adjoined so you’re in pretty close proximity”.

“Did you ever think to wave and say hello,” said Mr Newell.

“No, I thought it was odd behaviour to stand and stare up at somebody,” replied an emotional Miss Hancock.

(proceeding)

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