A grieving widow who was tormented by her nightmare neighbour in a bitter row over a shrine to her late husband has said she would lie awake ‘night after night’ in fear of what he might do. 

Church volunteer Margaret Ilkovics, 60, was subjected to callous smears and vandalism, which included having a raw octopus shoved through her letter box and splattered cocoa powder thrown at her door, in a campaign by former social worker Anthony Kenyon.

Kenyon, 52, said that Mrs Ilkovics’ memorial to her husband Richard, which included ornaments, a memory box and shrubs placed under a pussy willow tree in a communal garden, was a ‘health and safety breach’. 

Kenyon was said to have uprooted the  3ft high tree, killed off the grass and plants with weed-killer and even damaged ornaments, such as commemorative dolls, at Regina Court in Salford, Greater Manchester. 

He was also accused of writing poison pen notes claiming Mrs Ilkovics had only married her husband, who died of cancer aged just 54, for his money.

Kenyon was handed a 13-month prison sentence after he breached a restraining order, suspended for 18 months after it emerged he had been evicted from the neighbouring house.

Speaking after the case, Mrs Ilkovics, who was with her late husband for 19 years, described the effect the ordeal has had on her over the years, admitting she was even scared to put up a holly wreath on her front door. 

She said: ‘He’s just an evil man and I don’t know what I would have done if he had been allowed to stay next door.

‘I would be lying awake night after night. Worrying about going outside and finding the mess he made.

‘I was even worried this year about putting a Christmas tree outside or putting up holly wreath on the door. But at least he can’t come anywhere near there now. I was dancing when I found he had to move away. I have been messaging everyone saying: He is gone now – gone at last.’

Margaret Ilkovics, 60, (pictured on her wedding day with late husband Richard in June 2018), placed shrubs, various ornaments and a memory box under a pussy licking willow tree as a daily reminder of her late spouse

Anthony Kenyon (pictured outside court at an earlier hearing in 2020) shoved raw octopus through his neighbour’s letter box and pelted eggs at her home during a bitter row over the shrine

The widow filled her garden in Salford with plants as a shrine to her late husband Richard, who died of cancer aged 54

What was left of the garden at Regina Court in Salford following the neighbourhood dispute 

The victim also said Kenyon would ‘rant and rave’ at her from behind a window at his flat and unnecessarily summon ambulances to her home wrongly claiming she had a severe mental illness and needed ‘taking away’.

The row first broke out in 2018 when the shrine first appeared in the garden following the death of Mr Ilkovics. Kenyon immediately objected to the shrine, beginning his campaign of harassment. 

He was first convicted of harassment in September 2018 and then again in February 2019. In 2020, he was given a two-year restraining order but he disregarded it and continued with his vandalism.

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