Man jailed over secret seven-year campaign of hate against married couple who lived next door

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A married couple today told of their shock at discovering the man behind a terrifying seven-year poison pen campaign was their neighbour, saying: “We didn’t suspect him for a minute”.

Johnathon Warner-Johnson, 52, sent more than 200 letters accusing the pair of being paedophiles and mocking a relative with Down’s syndrome.

He also vandalised their car and damaged a fence, and pretended to receive hate mail to disguise his activity.

The couple told the Standard how they confided in him and even asked him to watch their home in Bromley, south London when they were away. 

Johnathon Warner-Johnson, 52, seen here on CCTV carrying out his campaign of hate

Warner-Johnson was unmasked in July last year when he was captured on CCTV spraying weedkiller and dumping rubbish in their garden.

They told of their relief after he was jailed for two years and four months, given a 20-year restraining order and ordered to pay £1,959 compensation. 

He was spotted on CCTV putting rubbish in their garden and spraying weedkiller

The husband said: “At the time we couldn’t do anything about it. We were like a boxer on the ropes, taking the punches. It was terrifying.

“He was our best ally. We would ask him to keep an eye on the house while we were away. In court his defence barrister said he cannot explain his behaviour. 

“The judge said he terrorised us. He’s been called evil — he’s certainly horrible. It was obviously someone that knew quite a lot about us, but we felt a bit stupid in the end as not for a minute did we suspect him.”

Warner-Johnson was jailed for two years and four months

His wife added: “It’s a relief that it has come to an end. It was very tough.”

The court heard how police began to suspect Warner-Johnson after a letter was sent containing information only he knew. He was arrested in December.

Officers found copies of the letters in his house. Detective Constable Liz Truan, of Bromley CID, said: “Warner-Johnson launched a calculated malicious campaign. It brought distress and it is right he has been jailed and handed such a long restraining order.” 

Warner-Johnson, of Beckenham, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage and two counts of stalking at Croydon crown court.

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