The court heard Mrs Williams, a member of the Dunsfold and Hascombe Horticultural Society, moved into her £600,000 cottage in Dunsfold, near Godalming, almost 40 years ago, while Mrs Pilcher bought the adjoining £500,000 cottage in 2010.
In 2014, the women fought over Mrs Williams’ refusal to cut back her apple tree and fruit fell over the fence on to Mrs Pilcher’s garden.
The subsequent harassment campaign involved a range of incidents, the court heard, including Mrs Williams repeatedly peering in through Mrs Pilcher’s windows, “monitoring” her comings and goings, and even following her neighbours’ relatives after they had visited.
Harassment likened to schoolyard bullying
Mrs Williams denied the allegations. However, Judge Cohen rejected her claims and branded her behaviour “completely abnormal and disturbing”, adding that the conduct “reminds me of bullying behaviour by school children”.
He said: “My conclusion about this incident is therefore that Mrs Williams’ conduct can fairly be described as vandalism. It was deliberately aimed at upsetting Mrs Pilcher and I find it fairly characterised as disgraceful.
“There is strong evidence of Mrs Williams behaving in a vindictive way towards Mrs Pilcher deliberately to alarm and distress her and that she is lacking in self control.”
He said the seven-year campaign of harassment had a serious impact on Mrs Pilcher and her family.
“She dreads coming home, her daughter does not want to stay with her anymore, and other young family members either do not want to visit her or, if they are brought to visit, need to be sheltered from the offensive conduct,” he added.