A WOMAN tortured her neighbour and left her suffering from deteriorating mental health issues after harassing her over a six-month period.

Amber Candy Flowers, who is biologically a man and who dresses in women's clothes, spent nine days in a male prison after targeting her neighbour.

Flowers played loud music, shouted through the walls and hurled vile abuse in the street towards Linda Burns between February and September this year.

The 64-year-old, born Timothy Ormandy, was due to go on trial at South Cumbria Magistrates' Court yesterday but changed her plea to guilty.

Prosecutor Peter Kelly told the court: "The complainant Linda Burns has been her neighbour for five years.

"Since the beginning of this year things have become difficult.

"The defendant plays loud music at all times of the day, shouts abuse directed at her and it has become more frequent."

The victim reported the noise to police and Flowers was issued her with a warning notice.

But the harassment continued.

"One example was she shouted 'You are an evil woman and I'll see you in court'," Mr Kelly said.

"The actions of the defendant has led to a significant deterioration in her mental health."

The antisocial behaviour continued and in May Flowers was issued with a Community Protection Notice and warned a breach could result in a prison sentence.

She subsequently breached the notice and was arrested and interviewed.

"She told police she accepts she plays loud music and it would be annoying," Mr Kelly said.

"She said she sometimes needs to 'vent' due to her own mental health problems."

Flowers appeared in court, unrepresented, on September 19 and pleaded not guilty to harassment.

After being bailed Flowers returned to her Emlyn Street flat and shouted through the wall: "I've got to go to court because of you. I'm not playing your game. You are killing me. Get out of my head."

Mrs Burns said she felt threatened and intimidated. As a result Flowers was interviewed a month later, a delay which was questioned by the court, and was remanded in custody on October 24.

In her victim impact statement Mrs Burns said: "I didn't leave the house if I knew Amber was in. I feel safer at work.

"I just want to live in peace. I've sat on the floor crying and shaking; I've done nothing to deserve this.

"I don't feel safe in my own home."

Defence solicitor David Mannering said his client realises her behaviour was unacceptable.

"She has been in a male prison and you will appreciate that has caused her extreme distress and motivated her to amend her behaviour."

District Judge Gerald Chalk sentenced Flowers to 60 days in prison suspended for two years. She must also complete a rehabilitation programme and was given a two-year restraining order and ordered to pay £250 costs and a £115 surcharge.

"Commit another offence and you'll find yourself in prison," the judge said.

"Please take this as a serious shot across your bows and be mindful of your behaviour."

After the sentencing Flowers told The Mail the time spent in custody "was very difficult".