Vegetarian couple accused of stalking their neighbours claim they noticed a 'rotten meat smell'
A vegetarian couple, who have been accused of stalking their ex-neighbours, defended their behaviour earlier this week, adding they were forced to call police over a smell of "rotten meat".
When Scott Lawrence and his wife Jessica Parker moved house in April of last year, it brought to an end several years of tension between themselves and their neighbours Christoph and Sylvia Hons, a vegetarian couple who complained about loud parties, loud banging and the aforementioned smell.
"Your home is full of this bad smell, in the curtains, in your clothes, all over the place," Christoph Hons, 50, said in front of magistrates at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court, explaining that his role as a senior restaurant sommelier (wine steward) makes him sensitive to odours.
"It was very intense, foul meat, rotten meat. I am quite sensitive on taste and smell, it is a big part of my job. We called the police every time that happened. Every time it occurred."
Along with his wife Sylvia - who is 45 years old - Hons successfully traced the smell to a pipe between the two homes, and once insulation had been installed, the smells stopped. Unfortunately, the tension between the two couples was just beginning.
The couples ended up filming one another on their phones and other cameras, before Christoph, his wife and Scott Lawrence were all issued police warnings for harassment.
"They tried to attract our attention to film us," explained Jessica Parker, who went into detail about the extent of the harassment from the Hons couple.
"I'd see them out of the corner of my eye. I knew they didn't want us to be in the garage area, but it was useful to us. We would throw a ball to the dogs and nobody else minded. Eventually they got a 'No Dog Walking' sign put up there. We had been exercising our dogs and Mrs Hons went back home to get her moped and drove it at us for half an hour, while filming."
In response, Christoph Hons told the jury that his neighbours had been having loud parties until the early hours of the morning from around September of 2015. He also said that Lawrence and Parker had been disturbing them in a variety of ways over the years.
"I complained, but I found them quite aggressive so reported the noise to their landlord. The parties stopped, but then they started throwing things at the walls and there was loud banging of doors up to midnight. There was also six weeks of continuous drilling. You could feel the vibration through the wall. It was getting very annoying."
Denying that he abused his neighbours at any point between January and April of last year (the charge he is court for), Hons said that he was terrified of Lawrence by the time the complainants moved away.
"He once said: 'I'm going to get you, I'm going to slap you.' He was very aggressive. I was shocked. We never gave him a reason to do that," Christoph Hons said, adding that he feared for the lives of himself, his wife and their cat.
The trial continues, and the jury moves ever closer to a verdict.