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Neighbour called social services on family ‘that made too much noise’

Tabraiz Khan (right) reported James and Jane Keogh to social services, accusing them of neglect (Picture: Cavendish)

Innocent parents were investigated by social workers after their neighbour falsely accused them of neglecting their six children.

Tabraiz Khan, 38, reported bus driver James Keogh and his wife Jane to social services claiming he believed their children were being ‘too noisy’.

Khan was convinced they were setting off police sirens inside their home, a court has heard.

It later emerged the sounds of ‘sirens’ Khan complained about came from the street outside.

Social services investigators acting on Khan’s false accusation went to Mr and Mrs Keoghs’ home in Heaton Norris, Stockport, Greater Manchester, and questioned the couple before establishing they had done nothing wrong.

In a statement to police, Mrs Keogh said the incident made the family feel ‘intimidated’ by their neighbour.

Khan has since moved out of the area (Picture: Cavendish)
Mr and Mrs Keogh said the investigation was distressing for their family (Picture: Cavendish)

Stockport Magistrates’ Court heard Khan subjected the Keogh family to a ‘two-year hate campaign’ while living two doors away at his parents home.

He continually berated the couple about noise, even confronting them on their doorstep at 8.30am on Christmas Day as the children opened presents inside.

He also claimed one of the children had been making rude gestures at him, with the children choosing to take alternative routes to school to avoid walking past his home.

Mr and Mrs Keogh, who have been married for 15 years and lived at their home for ten, said they suffered severe distress at being investigated by social services.

Their children were too scared to play in their back garden for fear of encountering Khan, they said.

In a statement Mrs Keogh told police: ‘This has made us feel intimidated. I feel like he’s watching me and my family. The children began to avoid walking past his house and they took a different route to avoid any further issues.

‘They tried to not even play out in the garden for fear of further issues caused.

‘We did consider moving house but we couldn’t afford it at the time and we wanted the family to lead a normal life.’

The Keogh’s said their children became too scared to play outside and walked a different route to school to avoid Khan (Picture: Cavendish)

Defence lawyer Anna Chestnut told the court Khan has been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder and was ‘hyper sensitive’ to noise.

Khan admitted three public order offences between 2017 and January this year and was banned from contacting the Keoghs for a year under the terms of a restraining order.

He has since moved out of the area.

Prosecutor David Morgan, said the council investigated Khan’s claims the family made ‘excessive noise’ but investigators found the noises ‘where coming from the road itself’.

He said that of the couple’s six children, two have autism, one has learning difficulties and one of the other children is a registered carer for Mr Keogh.

Mr Morgan said: ‘At some stage in 2017 the defendant contacted social services and made a report against the victims and it was a complaint they had neglected their children.

‘Social workers came out after being made aware of this report but they found no issues and were happy enough to leave with no further action was taken. But it caused distress to the Keoghs.’

Ms Chestnut said: ‘The complaints Mr Khan had against neighbours arose out of the genuinely held belief the noises where being made from their address including siren noises, either at the front or back garden.

‘He has hyper sensitivity to noise and struggles immensely to deal and cope with the level of noise.

‘This wasn’t a desire to harm the Keogh family or cause them any distress. Although he accepts the unfortunate consequence of his behaviour.

‘He does realise this family with own difficulties have been negatively affected. He has now moved away in the area and lives on his own.’

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