London – A bitter feud between a coffee shop owner and her local rivals boiled over when a purple sex toy was left on display outside their tearoom.
Kerry Radley, 46, parked outside the Prima Rosa cafe run by Martin Nudd and wife Judith – with the offending item on the back seat.
The tableau was completed with a picture of a topless woman and a card riddled with swear words. A court heard the scene reduced Nudd, 49, to tears.
Her customers were also left shocked, with one woman’s children peering inside the car and asking: "What is that purple cucumber?"
Trouble began brewing between yoga teacher Radley and the Nudds in May 2015 when the couple set up their tearoom in the Norfolk Broads village of Salhouse. It was just 20 yards from Radley’s, an artisan coffee shop that had opened nine months earlier. With a local population of just 1 500, competition was fierce.
Soon afterwards, both sides accused each other of intimidation and abusive behaviour.
Giving evidence via videolink, Nudd said seeing the sex toy had made her feel "awful". She told magistrates: "This has been going on for so long now – it is total harassment. All I have ever wanted is to be left alone."
Customer Josephine Allen said: "The car was about 2ft or 3ft away from the shop window. I noticed … a purple sex toy on the back seat. There was also a card with swear words on it." She added that an opened copy of a newspaper showed a "topless woman".