Warring couple silenced by separate jails

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The Independent Online
A COUPLE began a 14-day jail sentence last night for frightening neighbours with their loud and violent marital rows. One, timed by a long- suffering neighbour, lasted nearly 13 hours.

The sentences were imposed on whispy-haired William Greechan, 60, and his wife, Elizabeth, 56, after they failed to keep a promise to a Lowestoft court to live in harmony in their one-room council flat. The civil case had been brought by Yarmouth Borough Council.

Walking in to Great Yarmouth county court yesterday the couple kept their distance from each other. Mrs Greechan hid her face behind a handbag. Judge Peter Langan told them: 'It is not pleasant to send you to prison, but the end of the road has been reached.'

The court heard how neighbours up to 60 yards away have been disturbed by the couple's riotous behaviour for nearly two years. Their battles, which have been disrupting the usually peaceful housing estate in Gorleston, Norfolk, featured foul language, screaming and shouting.

For a few weeks in May the rowing subsided after Judge Langan warned the Scottish-born couple to stop rowing or go to prison. He sentenced them to 21 days in jail, suspended for nine months. The couple managed to retreat to separate rooms whenever they felt a row brewing but on 5 July their shortlived truce exploded.

Neighbours described how the mother of all rows started just after midday and went on until early the next morning. Patrick Thompson, 57, a retired policeman, who lives 30 yards away, told the court how after nine hours he called the police. Still the shrieking continued. At midnight the police were called again - by Mr Greechan. The noise eventually stopped at 1am.

Mrs Greechan said the row lasted for about 15 minutes; she denied having been drunk: 'We did have a tin of lager, that was all'. The judge said Mrs Greechan was 'putting up a smokescreen' to avoid jail. Last night all was silent as the couple were in prisons more than 100 miles apart. But the Greechans plan to return to their flat.

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