Woman blew cannabis smoke in baby's face in neighbour harassment campaign


A woman blew cannabis smoke in the face of her Muslim neighbour's baby because of her "warped views" about their religion, a court has heard.

Cheryl McKeown, 32, was on Wednesday spared jail for harassing Koutar Mrimou between August 2016 and April last year on their estate in Shepherd's Bush, west London.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard mother-of-two McKeown told her next-door neighbour to "stop breeding Muslim children" and said: "This is becoming an Islamic estate - you need to get your f***ing children out of this country."

Prosecutor Anita Reece said on one occasion in March last year, McKeown "blew cannabis smoke in her (the complainant's) 18-month-old baby's face."

The following month the victim said McKeown poured rubbish over mother-of-five Ms Mrimou's driveway and threatened to beat her up, the court heard.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Mrimou said she was left feeling "vulnerable and intimidated" and "no longer safe in my own home".

Sentencing McKeown, District Judge Michael Snow said the offence occurred over a "prolonged period of time" on a "number of occasions".

"It involved threats, disgusting language and even extended as far as blowing smoke in the face of a baby in its mother's arms, and it was motivated by the dislike of the victim's religion," he told the defendant.

"You used absolutely disgusting language indicating a distinct hostility towards Ms Mrimou and her family, your perception of their religion and your warped views of their religion."

The judge said the harassment campaign would normally warrant a lengthy prison sentence.

But he sentenced McKeown to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, after hearing she suffered from mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, and cared for her two children.

McKeown, who was found guilty of harassment at an earlier hearing, was also made subject to a six-month curfew and slapped with a two-year restraining order to prevent her contacting the victim or her family.