Dagenham couple guilty of racist campaign against neighbours after row over curry
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A couple who subjected their neighbours to a year of racist abuse after claiming the smell of curry was making their cat ill could face jail.
Wendy Perrin, 63, and Paul Moore, 64, made life for next-door couple Farheen Abdullah and Sakib Ahmed a “living hell” and left them afraid to use their back garden in Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
They banged on the fence, shouting “Muslim scumbag” and “we don’t want to smell your f**king Paki cooking”, it was alleged.
Moore and Perrin were both convicted of racially aggravated harassment on Friday, while Moore was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment and causing religiously aggravated harm or distress. They were bailed ahead of sentence in October 17, having denied all charges.
Mr Ahmed said he complained to the council after Moore yelled “Muslim scumbag” at him on July 20 last year over the fence.
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“We thought: ‘We live here; we have to try and accommodate them’,” he said.
“But that’s our religion and our faith.
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“We just couldn’t take it any more.”
Perrin and Moore had made three complaints of their own to the council about their neighbours’ cooking.
In defence Perrin said one of her grandparents was Asian, and said she enjoyed a good curry.
She said: “The smell was very strong, as if they were burning garlic and onions.”
Perrin claimed she installed an air purifier and bought air fresheners to block out the cooking smells but said the whiffs were so strong they affected Moore’s asthma.
Moore added: “Even the cat would be coughing and sneezing.”
Theresa Star, prosecuting, said the couple regularly yelled “f**king shut it” when they heard Bengali being spoken.
Bailing the pair on condition they have no contact with the neighbours, Judge Shelagh Canavan said jail would be “amply justified”.