|Andrew Currie & Joanna Goodwin|
Scotsman Andrew Currie, 48, was the author of postings made in the name of 57 year-old Andrew Small, who he tried to have arrested and prosecuted.
Currie, who lives off disability benefits, was angered by his neighbour leading a successful battle against a council parking scheme in their South Croydon street.
He pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice between April 5 and August 7, 2014 by falsely claiming Mr. Small had made the Facebook insults.
His partner, mother-of-five Joanna Goodwin, 41, who lives with him in Newark Road was also arrested and charged with the same offence, but this was dropped by the prosecution.
Croydon Crown Court heard police were on the brink of arresting Mr. Small, a project manager in the construction industry, of Newark Road, until one officer became suspicious.
Prosecutor Miss Kate Lumsden said: “He set up a Facebook account in the name of neighbour Mr. Small, who is purportedly abusing Mr. Currie.”
|Andrew Small & wife Annie|
The account was opened the day after Mr. Small’s PA wife, Annie, 57, was abused by Currie’s children in the street and the police called.
“The next day Mr. Currie attended the front desk of Croydon Police Station to complain about a Facebook page in the name of Mr. Small.”
Entries, supposedly made by the victim, described the Currie’s as a “spastic family”, “inbred”, and threatened to poison their two dogs with anti-freeze.
There were also threats to set the Currie’s house on fire to get them out of the street, plus calls that the “KKK are needed in Croydon.”
The page also said Mr. Small “hates disabled people”, thinks “mixed-race children should be a crime” and enjoys spying on his neighbours in their showers.
“An arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Small, but one officer examined a Freedom of Information request from the victim and saw how well-written it was in comparison.”
|Jailed: Andrew Currie|
Currie’s bogus Facebook account even used an internet photo of Mr. Small taken by the local newspaper a year before when he complained of a local hate campaign against him.
“Mr. Currie demanded that Mr. Small be immediately arrested and told the police it was a waste of time to investigate the internet IP address of the posts.”
However, officers successfully applied to Facebook for details of the account and arrested Currie, who denied everything, on August 6, 2014.
“The victims found it extremely distressing and don’t feel they can go about their business without being harassed by Mr. Currie and his family.
“They find it intolerable and Mr. Small’s wife is suffering from stress,” added Miss Lumsden.
They have fitted CCTV outside their smart £425,000 home and hope the Currie’s housing association landlord’s will move the family on.
Ex-jailbird Currie was once convicted of a similar crime in his twenties, when he tried to have an innocent person blamed for criminal offences.
His lawyer Thomas Quinn told the court: “He was in a bad place and took it out on his neighbours over a short period of time. It was very amateurish.
“It is very easy to set up a Facebook account and was detected very easily. He’s not a sophisticated person.”
Judge Daniel Flahive told Currie: “You falsely claimed Mr. Small set up a Facebook account and made abusive remarks to you, your family and other people.
“It is not amateurish, it was quite sophisticated and took a bit of time to do.
“Your offending has had a great effect on your neighbours and you expressed little remorse in your pre-sentence report.
“Anyone who makes false allegations to the police and asks for the arrest of others must receive a prison sentence.”
A restraining order was made, which prevents Currie contacting Andrew and Annie and as she left court his partner Goodwin told the couple: “I hope you’re happy now.”
Afterwards Mr. Small said: “He’s a sociopath and it has been going on for years. He won’t learn and will just carry on hurting people.
“He has intimidated a lot of people and is a fantasist. It has escalated and escalated and escalated.
“He is unemployed and hangs around all day and knows our routine inside out. It is a nightmare scenario.
“He has got two big dogs and hangs over his front fence all day and has made a lot of people move.”
Mr. Small, who is currently on a sabbatical from work with stress, said he led community opposition to the council’s planned controlled parking zone in 2010.
Currie petitioned for the zone, even though he has his own disabled parking space. “He probably saw us as a gang against him because he always feels victimised.
“They walk past and look through the window and she’s still there and we could bump into her at the doctor’s or in Croydon.
“For us it is not over. She’s still there and harbours this hate and it is still causing us great stress and impacting our lives.”
The couple say Currie and Goodwin have reported them to the police multiple times with false complaints.
These include an allegation Mr. Small threatened Currie with a brick and was going to burn his house down when seen in the street with a petrol can for his lawnmower.