Yarmouth stallholders ‘had seven year feud’

A BITTER and long-running feud between rival stalls on Great Yarmouth Market Place led to a 63-year-old woman being caught on camera scratching a stallholders’ van, Yarmouth magistrates heard.

Sean Dearn, who owns a vegetable stall on the town’s market, set up a covert TV camera on his Mercedes Benz van, which caught Sheila Wilkinson, of Priory Gardens, Yarmouth scratching the driver’s door with a key.

The vandalism followed a seven year battle between Mr Dearn and a neighbouring, smaller, vegetable stall, which Wilkinson worked for.

Fergus Howard, prosecuting, told Yarmouth magistrates yesterday Mr Dearn set up the camera after noticing scratches on the van and recognised the defendant, who pleaded guilty to criminal damage, from film of her carrying out the vandalism on August 8.

Mr Howard added Wilkinson told police she caused the damage, costing �380 to repair, because she hated Mr Dearn for the way he had treated her friend and manager.

“She said she did not feel remorse as she so disliked Mr Dearn she felt a fine was worth it,” he said.

Anne-Marie Sheridan, mitigating, said hostilities started when Wilkinson’s manager opened the vegetable stall next door to Mr Dearn’s “much bigger” stall seven years ago and he warned her supplier not to provide her with goods or he would cancel his own orders.

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She added he then carried out a number of other incidents, including throwing water over the smaller stall’s vegetables and kicking over one of the vegetable stalls, which culminated in the manager being diagnosed with a brain tumour and handing over the management to Wilkinson.

However, Ms Sheridan said she suffered daily abuse with Mr Dearn saying, “they should not be there, why are they there?” which ended with her carrying out the vandalism act she now “regretted.”

“She has no sympathy for him, but accepts what she did was wrong,” she added.

Wilkinson was given a six month conditional discharge and ordered to pay �250 compensation and �50 costs.