'Neighbour from hell' screams at lady next door in bizarre cat food row

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A pensioner yelled a homophobic slur at their neighbour after accusing her dogs of eating their cat's food

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Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 29/02/2024

- 19:15

The neighbour called the police about the pensioner next door, who she described as 'the most horrible lady'

A pensioner called her neighbour a "dy*e" and a “b****” after she accused the woman’s dogs of eating her cat’s food, a court heard.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard that Monia Woods, 77, had been a “neighbour from hell” ever since she first moved to Sycamore Close, East Sussex, nine years ago.

Jane Merrington, who lived next door to Woods, rang 999 when she could not take it anymore.

Calling the police, she said: “She’s calling me all sorts, accusing my dogs of eating her food. My dogs are indoors, they haven’t been anywhere.

Brighton Magistrates Court

A Brighton Magistrates Court heard the row between the neighbours

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“I have had an Asbo on this woman from the police. I have had enough, I’m not taking any more of this.

“She’s saying she’s going to put me all over Facebook. She’s not talking to me like that. She gets away with it because she’s 70. This is what you are afraid of, arresting this woman.

“It’s been five years. She’s the most horrible lady. It’s not just me – she picks on a neighbour down the road. She’s a neighbour from hell.”

Merrington also told the court that Woods had accused her dogs of eating her cat’s food.

She added that Woods had also been homophobic towards her, shouting: “That dy*e is a b****.”

The court was shown video footage from Merrington’s doorbell camera, where the 77-year-old can be heard shouting at her neighbour in the background.


When questioned by the defence how she could be sure that it was Woods insulting her, as there is a large six-foot fence between the properties, Merrington said that she was certain it was the 77-year-old due to her “distinctive voice”.

She also added that she had seen Woods walking down the communal path moments before.

Woods initially denied the claims, stating that she was not at home when the video was recorded. She provided a receipt from Tesco timestamped at 12.48pm on February 7, 2023, as proof.

However, she did admit that soon afterwards, she returned home and was helped by a taxi driver who unloaded her shopping for her, which Merrington had told the court she saw.

After later being shown the doorbell video by police, Woods conceded that she had in fact yelled at her neighbour but insisted that the word “dy*e” had not left her lips.

Today, when asked if it had been her shouting, she changed her stance once more: “Not at all. I would go more than that but at the present time I will say she was mistaken.

CCTV camera

Woods' sister checked the CCTV footage and said she could not see her yelling


“I didn’t see her at all that day. Not any day. I have to close the doors. I have been warned by the police keep out of her way, go indoors, which I do.”

She alleged that the video had been edited by Merrington’s friend.

Her sister, who said she was aware of the feud between the pair, told the court that she checked Woods’ CCTV footage and could not hear any shouting.

Tim Concannon, prosecution, said: “The footage has not been produced and they are connected people.”

Mark Charnley, defence, who said Woods was of good character, said: “There’s no love lost between these parties whatsoever. It’s difficult to bore down to find the truth.”

Woods was later convicted of threatening behaviour, fined £156 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £62 and costs of £500, which she will pay back in installments of £5 a week.

Chair of the bench Joanna Brown told Woods: “We heard that you gave an inconsistent account to the police officer. This undermined your credibility. For that reason we have found you guilty of this offence.”

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