‘Neighbour from hell’ facing prison after breaching a restraining order 

Neighbourhood threat: Julie Rankine was first jailed after she attacked three of her neighbours in Sutton Coldfield in 2017

Neighbourhood threat: Julie Rankine was first jailed after she attacked three of her neighbours in Sutton Coldfield in 2017

Neighbourhood threat: Julie Rankine was first jailed after she attacked three of her neighbours in Sutton Coldfield in 2017

A neighbour from hell living in a £1 million house on one of Birmingham‘s nicest streets is facing jail for breaching a restraining order.

Julie Rankine was originally handed a 22-week prison sentence in 2017 for attacking three neighbours in the exclusive Four Oaks area of Sutton Coldfield.

She was accused of poking and prodding them with her walking stick, but also waved an axe around her head threatening violence.

She was convicted of three assaults and one charge of using threatening words and behaviour. But her prison term was suspended within hours after she suffered a stroke.

Rankine was back at Birmingham Crown Court and convicted after a trial of breaching a restraining order imposed to protect her neighbours which had forbidden her from having any contact with them.

Rankine, who had turned up in a motorised wheelchair, denied the charge but was found guilty by a majority verdict of ten jurors to two.

Judge Kristina Montgomery QC, adjourned the case for sentencing until July 4.

She asked for a pre-sentence report and asked Rankine to produce medical evidence proving her disabilities.

Rankine was back at Birmingham Crown Court and convicted after a trial of breaching a restraining order imposed to protect her neighbours which had forbidden her from having any contact with them (pictured in 2016)

Rankine was back at Birmingham Crown Court and convicted after a trial of breaching a restraining order imposed to protect her neighbours which had forbidden her from having any contact with them (pictured in 2016)

Rankine was back at Birmingham Crown Court and convicted after a trial of breaching a restraining order imposed to protect her neighbours which had forbidden her from having any contact with them (pictured in 2016)

The judge told her: ‘You have been convicted by the jury of the offence.

‘I need to find out more about your current circumstances so I will adjourn the case until July 4 for sentencing.

‘There is a very real possibility you will be going back to custody for this breach.’

Sentencing Rankine back in March 2017, District Judge Ian Strongman had told her: ‘You are an unpleasant woman who has caused your neighbours’ lives to be hell and this is your come-uppance.’

He granted the restraining order against Rankine, which had 14 conditions, to run indefinitely.

Julie Rankine

Julie Rankine

Julie Rankine

Julie Rankine

Rankine was filmed during one of the disputes, and she shouts and shrieks at a man over a fence, claiming he has been hurting her all week 

The charges at her 2017 trial related to Rankine’s behaviour towards her immediate neighbours.

On three occasions in March, June and August of 2016 she poked at her neighbours through their adjoining fences with her walking stick, causing them injuries.

On the fourth occasion in August that year she threatened one of the neighbours with an axe during a row over fence panels.

The court heard those incidents were ‘just the tip of an iceberg’ of a nine-year campaign of harassment Rankine, 54, had waged against her neighbours.

Other incidents included sitting on her roof watching her neighbours in their gardens, playing loud music, dumping her rubbish in their gardens and holding parties in her outdoor swimming pool which went on until 4am.

He said one of their neighbours had to spend £4,000 building a gazebo so they could sit in their garden in privacy.

The court had heard how Rankine, a divorced woman with two children, had ran a small business designing tea-related pottery and utensils from the house, which she got in her divorce settlement but which still had a mortgage on it.

Maurice Andrews, who defended Rankine at her 2017 trial had told the court: ‘My client lives in a large house in a very salubrious area and is of good character with no previous convictions.’ 

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