Housing boss smashed into "love rival's" home

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A drunken housing boss smashed her way into the home of a neighbour she was convinced was her love rival after she woke and found her partner was missing, a court heard.

Mother-of-two Louise Mary Windle, 34, suspected her man had been seeing the woman and went round, all worked up, believing he was there.

She demanded "get her out here now ", booted the front door until she broke it and burst in.

But Burnley Magistrates' Court was told Windle didn't get to have words with the the target of her upset, as she was on holiday. The woman's ex- husband at the property instead, looking after their young child, who was left terrified by the attack on his house.

The defendant, said to suffer from severe anxiety and depression, was, the court heard, juggling caring for her sick parents with holding down a demanding £28,000-a-year management job and looking after her own family as well. Her solicitor told the hearing she was " running round exhausted."

Windle, of Brownhill Avenue, Burnley, admitted damaging the door last November 20th. She had been facing jail, after a judge said although the child was not the target of the trouble, the consequences to the youngster had been serious.

The defendant was given an 18 -month community order, with 120 hours unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement. She was also ordered to pay £370 compensation, £300 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Prosecutor Andrew Robinson told the hearing the woman and her child lived at the property, but she was on holiday at the time and her ex-husband was there with the youngster.

Nick Dearing (defending) said Windle had a responsible job as Head of Support for a social housing company in the area. Her mother was terminally ill and her father was suffering from dementia and she was looking after them as well as doing a very demanding job and looking after her own family.

Mr Dearing told the court: "On the day in question, she had recently had her medication for anxiety increased. Her relationship with her partner had been strained. She suspected he had been seeing this neighbour. She had consumed some alcohol the previous night. She woke, her partner was not there, she suspected her partner was at the house and she went round."

Sentencing, District Judge James Clarke told Windle: "This is a serious matter. The damage was caused by you, in a drunken and agitated state, trying to force your way into somebody's house, where there was a child present. The child has found it difficult to sleep and has suffered at school as a consequence of your actions and that is a serious matter."