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Garmouth nightmare neighbour admits unprovoked attack on woman next door

The court heard Nevillie McPhee launched her assault on her former friend outside their terraced homes in Garmouth.

Nevillie McPhee who admitted to attacking her neighbour in Garmouth
Nevillie McPhee admitted assaulting her next-door neighbour in an unprovoked attack. Image: Facebook

A woman has admitted an unprovoked attack on her next-door neighbour and weeks of antisocial abuse.

Mother-of-two Nevillie McPhee, 35, at first denied assaulting Elaine Sinclair – a former friend – who was living next door to her in Garmouth last year.

However, after a morning of evidence at Elgin Sheriff Court, McPhee had a change of heart and pled guilty to an amended charge of harassment and another of assault.

A further charge of threatening behaviour was dropped.

Giving evidence, Mrs Sinclair told Sheriff David Sutherland that McPhee had launched herself on her as she was walking towards her car on the morning of October 25 2022.

McPhee sat crying in the dock as Mrs Sinclair recounted the events.

Fiscal depute Naomi Duffy-Welsh asked Mrs Sinclair, 54, how long her family had been living next door to McPhee and she replied: “Three years.”

Days out together

Mrs Sinclair went on to say that they had been “very very friendly” up to the day of the attack and had been on days out together.

“We would go on dog walks in the evenings and she would sometimes come round for a glass of wine at the weekends,” she said.

Mrs Sinclair explained that she had suffered a brain haemorrhage 20 years ago and as a result had coils inserted inside her head and worried if her blood pressure got too high “they would leak”.

The court heard McPhee launched her attack on Mrs Sinclair on the street outside their terraced houses.

‘She just flew at me’

Mrs Sinclair said: “She just flew at me. She pulled my hair and punched me on the head. She just would not let go of my hair. My son got her off.”

Afterwards, Mrs Sinclair said she had felt “quite ill” and went for a lie down when she got home – experiencing blurred vision and feeling sick.

McPhee’s harassment continued and between November 6 to 8 she admitted repeatedly playing loud music to “excessive levels”, banging doors and walls and kicking doors in her own house.

Mrs Sinclair told the court that the noise had continued since the October 25 assault, adding: “It was every single night. Thumping and banging. I just wanted it to stop – to get some peace and quiet.

‘I ended up in hospital’

“Her music was on full blast. She shouted abuse at me one day when I was bringing my bin in and I ended up in hospital.

“I was physically sick and had to lie down – I couldn’t lift my head off the sofa. My husband called an ambulance.”

It was after this interaction that McPhee was arrested.

McPhee’s defence agent Mark Dickson told the court that his client was “very sorry” for what had happened and said she accepted there had been a “flashpoint”.

Mr Dickson went on: “Something had happened the night before and the police were contacted.

“Miss McPhee had not felt supported by her neighbours. She accepts Mrs Sinclair was in a very frightened state and she could have handled matters better. She was at an extremely low ebb.”

The court was told that McPhee has been in temporary accommodation but has now been given a council house swap and will be able to clear out her home on Station Road, Garmouth, under special bail conditions.

Speaking outside court, Mrs Sinclair said she was relieved it was all over.

Accompanied by her husband Alexander and son Damian, they all still could not fathom what had happened.

‘She was like a daughter to us’

Mr Sinclair said: “She was like a daughter to us. We used to take her and her boy for days out, took her shopping and made sure her son had clothes on his back.”

Damian Sinclair said he wished it had been resolved before going to trial, adding: “She could have killed my mum. I can’t believe she put us through all this – mum doesn’t need the stress.”

Sheriff David Sutherland deferred sentence on McPhee for reports and told her to appear at Elgin Sheriff Court again on November 23.

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