Nightmare neighbour Stella, 82, wore ear defenders while blasting The Laughing Policeman at all hours

Stella Masson, 82, leaving Aberdeen Sheriff Court after being fined for playing loud music and banging on walls
Stella Masson, 82, leaving Aberdeen Sheriff Court after being fined for playing loud music and banging on walls

An 82-year-old neighbour from hell who donned ear protectors and blasted The Laughing Policeman as late as 2am has appeared in the dock.

Stella Masson pushed stereo speakers up against walls in a two-year-long campaign that stemmed from a dispute with neighbours over sunlight.

Her actions even prompted the family next door to build an extension in an effort to escape the racket that was regularly reverberating throughout their home, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

When police turned up at Masson’s then-property on Westdyke Gardens in Elrick, she admitted wearing ear plugs and playing music loudly to annoy the neighbours.

It is understood the pensioner’s music of choice was The Laughing Policeman, which was first recorded in 1922.

Fiscal depute Lucy Simpson said the pensioner’s relationship with the family next door was initially amicable but broke down around summer 2014.

She said: “During the period of the libel, between August 19 2016 and August 19 2018, the accused began playing music very loudly from her address. The music would be played at such a volume it could be heard throughout the complainers’ address.

“The music was played at various times of the day and night at such volume as to make it uncomfortable for the complainers while in their home.

“The accused also began banging on the wall adjoining the complainers’ property. This was in combination with the loud music.

“This occurred at all hours including as late as 2am.”

Ms Simpson said the banging had the most impact on the neighbours’ teenage daughter as she tried to study for exams.

The noise got so bad that they even had to build an extension to their home.

Ms Simpson said: “The complainers constructed an extension to their property with the intention they would have a living space at the opposite side of the house to where the accused’s property was.

“They advise their original living room had become unusable due to the music and banging.

“The music and banging could still be heard from the new living room at the other side of the house.

“At the end of November 2017, when police attended the accused’s property in relation to loud music and banging, police witnessed a set of ear defenders and ear plugs in the property.

“They also noticed the accused’s stereo speakers were pushed up against the adjoining wall and the volume was set to high.

“Police asked her about this and she voluntarily stated she played music while wearing the ear defenders in an attempt to annoy her neighbours.”

Ms Simpson said Masson’s neighbours were left feeling alarmed and distressed and that her behaviour had had a large impact on their wellbeing and quality of life.

Masson, who has since moved to Inverness, pled guilty to engaging in a course of conduct which caused her neighbours fear or alarm, repeatedly playing loud music, banging on walls and creating a disturbance.

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Defence agent Neil McRobert said: “It’s obviously tragic someone of that age is appearing in court and has a conviction for any matter.”

He added they had lived next to each other for years with no issues. But that changed when she took issue with the neighbours’ van being parked outside her house which was impacting on sunlight getting in.

Mr McRobert said: “It’s the accused’s position this is not a one-way street and she had been subjected to noise and banging and name-calling and the like.”

Sheriff Morag McLaughlin fined Masson, of Lily Bank, Inverness, £450.