“I am quite sensitive on taste and smell, it is a big part of my job.”
A vegetarian wine aficionado has been accused of driving away his neighbors with obsession over their meat cooking and other activities.
Christopher Hons, 50, a senior restaurant sommelier in London, and his wife, Sylvia Hons, 45, have denied charges of stalking, but they acknowledged monitoring the couple next door for several months last year.
In the Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court on Tuesday, Hons shamelessly confessed that he had called the police every time his refined palate detected the smell of meat emanating from the adjacent apartment.
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“It was very intense, foul meat, rotten meat. I am quite sensitive on taste and smell, it is a big part of my job,” he told the jury. “We called the police every time that happened. Every time it occurred.”
The meaty miasma was found to be coming from a service pipe that connected the two West London homes, and the leak was repaired.
However, the relationship between the Hons’ and their neighbors only got worse.
Christoph and Sylvia Hons began watching Scott Lawrence and his wife, Jessica Parker, from their home’s multiple surveillance cameras and recording them on their phones and Go-Pro camera from local cafes. That at one point earned the Hons a police warning for harassment.
Lawrence and Parker began filming the Hons, as well.
At an earlier hearing, the court heard about an occasion on which Hons sat on her moped in the building’s parking area and revved the engine for 30 minutes to signal her displeasure with Parker walking her dog there. She claimed that Parker enjoyed watching the dog bark at her nemesis neighbor, whereas Parker said her dog was simply upset by the noise.
Eventually, the Hons put up a “No Dog Walking” sign.
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During his testimony on Tuesday, Hons aired grievances with his neighbors even beyond their carnivorous stench. He said they would have loud late-night parties on the weekends, and make other loud “annoying” noises. Scared to confront them, he reported his complaints to the landlord and the borough health department.
Hons said his terror of Lawrence reached the point where he would hide “behind a bush or a car to avoid contact.”
“By that stage I was in a kind of fear and anxious about him,” he said. “My cameras were to monitor and prevent an incident because I did not know how far it would go.”
According to Hons, Lawrence once threatened to “slap” him. “He was very aggressive,” Hons complained.
“I was shocked. We never gave him a reason to do that,” he continued. “I feared for the safety of myself, my wife, my house and my cat.”
“It was frustrating that the police really didn’t do anything to resolve this situation,” he added.
Authorities did ultimately act by leveling the stalking charges against the Hons. Lawrence and Parker moved half a mile away.
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- Christoph Hons arrives at the Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court in London on Feb. 12, 2019.: Courtesy