A NORTH Berwick resident told a trial of her shock at discovering that her neighbours had recorded her and her family 248 times – including on 67 occasions in just one day – during an alleged three-year campaign of harassment.

Marie Bain made the claims while giving evidence on the eighth day of a trial involving next-door neighbours David and Jacqueline Aston, who are accused of carrying out a campaign of harassment against her and her husband.

Mrs Bain, 66, said that she found out her neighbours had made the massive amount of mobile phone video and audio recordings during a civil court process brought about by the Astons.

Mrs Bain told the court that the Astons took her and her husband Robert to court after the couple had made complaints to East Lothian Council about her dogs making excessive noise.

She said that the recordings were made available to her as part of the evidence and she told the court she was left “horrified” when she realised the extent of the surveillance.

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Mrs Bain told the court that the Astons had made 67 video recordings of her family on just one day while she and her family were celebrating her sister’s birthday in her rear garden.

Mrs Bain also told the court that, on one occasion, she had witnessed Mrs Aston recording her as she wore just a bathing suit while she had been using her garden hot tub.

Mr and Mrs Aston are standing trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court accused of engaging in a course of conduct that caused Marie and Robert Bain fear and alarm at their home on Blackadder Crescent, Ferrygate, North Berwick, between September 1, 2018 and October 11, 2021.

East Lothian Courier: Blackadder Crescent, North BerwickBlackadder Crescent, North Berwick

The Astons are alleged to have shouted, sworn, uttered threats, and constantly maintained observations on their neighbours and their visitors by repeatedly staring at them, taking photographs and repeatedly filming them.

They are also claimed to have thrown a shovel of snow over one of Bains’ dogs and raised civil proceedings and made false allegations that their dogs were creating excessive noise through barking.

Mrs Bain told the trial of a series of alleged incidents where she claimed that the Astons had harassed her family by staring at them and filming them from their home over several years.

She said that she had been forced to cancel family gatherings due to the alleged harassment and that she had suffered a range of health difficulties due to the alleged hate campaign.

Mrs Bain added that she and her husband had made several complaints to the police and the local council about the Astons’ behaviour but, despite that, the harassment against them had continued.

The court heard that the civil case concerning the dogs was won by the Bains and the couple were advised by the police and council officials to keep a diary of all the harassment incidents they claimed that the Astons were involved in.

Previously, the trial heard from the Astons' next-door neighbours on the 'other side', Catriona Henderson and partner Stuart McMorris, who said that they had also been targeted since they moved into Miller Homes' new estate at Ferrygate, on North Berwick's western edge.

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Ms Henderson, 45, had told the court that she was left “scared and worried” after discovering that David Aston had written a book about a character who develops superpowers and seeks revenge on nearby residents.

The Astons are also alleged to have spread malicious rumours that Ms Henderson and Mr McMorris, 46, were drug dealers, repeatedly filmed them, and deliberately soaked their children with a sprinkler.

Court papers also claim that the Astons made reports to various authorities that Ms Henderson was abusing and neglecting her children and that they had thrown shards of glass and compost onto their neighbour’s property.

The trial, in front of Sheriff John Cook, will resume on May 3.