TWO pensioners have appeared in court accused of harassing their neighbours by repeatedly shining a high-powered torch into their windows at night over a six-month period.

The trial of David Barnatt, 70, and Jeanette Obertelli, 66, both of Green Close in Charlton Marshall, Blandford, started at Poole Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Both defendants are charged with harassment without violence. They have pleaded not guilty.

This charge relates to a period between August 19 2017 and February 2 2018. Prosecutors claim the pair harassed neighbours Alison and Simon Morgan by ‘repeatedly shining torches into their windows during darkness and acting in an abusive manner by shouting, swearing and making offensive gestures.’

Mr Morgan, who is a cancer patient in remission, told the court: “We first started noticing lights up at the windows, a torch light being shone up at the landing window which came through and illuminated our bedroom.

"The torch is so bright and powerful, it's like someone has turned the bedroom light on.”

Mr and Mrs Morgan have lived at the property for ten years with their 20-year-old son, who has type 2 diabetes.

Mr Morgan told the court he and his wife were advised by police to install CCTV cameras and "dusk till dawn" security lights after their cars were repeatedly vandalised.

Kingsleigh Viollet, prosecuting, said: “It is alleged that the defendants have been shining their torch at the house in protest at this CCTV and external light.”

The court was also shown CCTV footage, taken from the four cameras at the Morgan’s home, which apparently shows a torch being shone into the property. Further footage appears to show someone walking a dog with a torch pointing along the street.

Both Mr and Mrs Morgan allege the figures captured on CCTV are Obertelli and Barnatt, although under cross-examination Mr Morgan said he hadn’t always seen the couple at the time himself. Instead, he said his son had seen or heard the defendants. Mr Morgan then reviewed the CCTV afterwards, identifying them, it was heard.

The complainants, both of whom gave evidence, also told the court they believed on one occasion, February 24 2018, Obertelli had shown them a ‘V’ sign and shouted "f****** a********".

The trial was adjourned until February 28.