London – A bitter dispute between a coffee shop owner and his local rivals overflowed as a purple sex toy was exposed outside the tea room.
Kerry Radley, 46, parked in front of the Prima Rosa café run by Martin Nudd and his wife Judith – with the offensive item in the back seat.
The picture was completed with a photo of a topless woman and a card full of swearing. A court heard the scene reduce tears to Nudd, 49.
His clients were also shocked, with the children of a woman looking in the car and asking, "What is that purple cucumber?"
The problem began to form between yoga teacher Radley and the Nudds in May 2015 when the couple set up their tea room in the village of Salhouse in Norfolk Broads. It was only 20 meters from the Radley's, a handmade cafe opened nine months earlier. With a local population of only 1 500 inhabitants, competition was fierce.
Soon after, both sides accused each other of intimidation and abusive behavior.
Giving evidence via videolink, Nudd said seeing the sex toy made her feel "horrible." She told the magistrates, "This has been going on for so long – it's total harassment. All I've ever wanted to do is be alone."
Customer Josephine Allen said, "The car was about 2 feet or 3 feet away from the window. I noticed … a purple sex toy in the back seat. There was also a card with swearing in it." She added that an open copy of a newspaper showed a "topless woman."