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Court hears of vendetta

PUBLISHED: 12:13 16 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:25 03 July 2010

Yarmouth man Desmond Noone mounted a campaign of terror on a family who adopted his daughter, a court heard.

Target for Noone's anger was the Bethune family whom he bombarded with a series of vicious letters and pranks.

Yarmouth man Desmond Noone mounted a campaign of terror on a family who adopted his daughter, a court heard.

Target for Noone's anger was the Bethune family whom he bombarded with a series of vicious letters and pranks.

Noone, 49, even sent undertakers to the family home in Herne Bay, Kent, in the middle of the night after telling them the head of the household Michael Bethune was dead.

He carried out his vendetta from his home at North Quay, Yarmouth.

Noone admitted harrassment at Canterbury Magistrates' Court.

Julie Farbrace, prosecuting, said Noone could not accept his daughter Anne-Louise, now 20, did not want anything to do with him. She was adopted by the Bethunes, aged eight, in 1997.

When she was 13 she insisted on writing to her father telling him she did not want to know him.

Noone accused the Bethunes of brainwashing the girl into hating him. One letter read: “Hello you cowards you can run but you can't hide. You'll need to get the hell out of Herne Bay mighty soon.”

Then he raided their dustbin and posted rubbish back to them before threatening to torch a boat Mr Bethune owned.

He even alleged Michael Bethune was dealing drugs.

Mrs Farbrace said: “He caused the family to feel fear. They were scared to go out. One night, undertakers arrived to collect Mr Bethune's body and petrol was poured through their letter box.

“Mr Bethune was afraid to leave his wife alone. [Noone] caused the family serious stress and alarm.”

Natasha Spreadborough, mitigating, said Noone was reacting to a Facebook campaign against him.

She said: “Resentment had been bubbling under for 12 years and it got out of control. He was a man consumed by grief at losing his daughter. No real harm was intend-ed. He made a knee-jerk reaction.”

Noone was given a conditional discharge for two years and banned from going within five miles of Herne Bay. He was also ordered to pay £60 costs.

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