A TEENAGER told an 83-year-old woman he was going to “buy her a coffin” in a campaign of antisocial abuse which made her and her husband’s lives “a misery”.
Ryan Hanna, 17, tormented Sandy and Lydia Crosthwaite, from West Calder, for weeks, a court heard.
He even accused Mr Crosthwaite, 79, of being a paedophile when the pensioner began filming the incidents to use as evidence.
The situation became so bad that the couple started going on daily drives to escape.
Mrs Crosthwaite said today: “He made our lives a misery.”
Hanna persistently played football outside their front gate and repeatedly rang their doorbell and ran away.
He set off their intruder alarm and, after they complained, threw an egg at their window.
Mrs Crosthwaite said: “It was persistent. He said he was going to buy me a coffin. We had to go out on a daily basis.
“It has affected my health. I’m taking blackouts and dizzy turns.”
Mr Crosthwaite said: “One time, he rang the doorbell for 15 minutes non-stop.
“We didn’t even know his name when this all started.”
When the couple installed a video camera to catch him in the act, Hanna unleashed a torrent of vile abuse at Mr Crosthwaite and accused the pensioner of being a paedophile and spying on children.
At Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff Grahame Fleming QC imposed a conduct order on Hanna, banning him from going near the elderly couple’s home.
He also imposed a community payback order, requiring Hanna to carry out 230 hours of unpaid work and remain under supervision for a year.
John Barclay, prosecuting, told the court that Hanna’s appalling behaviour continued, even after he had been charged and released on an undertaking not to go near the couple’s home.
Mr Barclay said: “What comes across is his total disregard for these elderly people.”
Hanna appeared for sentence after earlier pleading guilty to behaving in a threatening and abusive manner and breaching a court undertaking.
Gerry Whitton, defending, said Hanna was a first-time offender and had applied to join the army. He said: “This was an unfortunate and disgraceful course of conduct.”
Sheriff Fleming said the banning order was to prevent any further harassment.
He told Hanna, who now lives in Livingston: “I want to make it quite clear that there’s no evidence to suggest that there’s any truth in the [paedophile] allegation you made.
“Your behaviour was absolutely disgraceful and the decision I have to make is whether or not you should be sentenced to a period of detention.
“With some hesitation, I consider that there is an appropriate alternative to that.”
The elderly couple hit out at the sentence.
Mrs Crosthwaite said: “We go to Livingston to do shopping and there’s always the dread that you’re going to bump into him. I would like to have seen him go to prison.
“The law these days seems to be in favour of the criminal. There’s nothing to stop him coming and doing it again.”