A Russian woman nicknamed ‘Al Capone’ for terrorizing south coast neighbors has been cleared of assaulting an off-duty special constable in a pub.
Olga Woolnough, 47, became known as a ‘neighbor from hell’ when she lived in Worthing after threatening locals, throwing all-night parties and staggering constantly drunk. She also painted her beach house neon pink.
Ms Woolnough, who also goes by Alexandra and claims to have links to Russian royalty, received an ASBO in 2015 – prohibiting her from being drunk or having alcohol in public.
She appeared at the City of London Magistrates Court after being charged with assaulting Special Constable Adrian Bodenham at the Garrick Arms Pub on Charing Cross Road in central London.
Olga Woolnough, 47, became known as the ‘neighbor from hell’ when she lived in Worthing after threatening locals, throwing all-night parties and staggering while drunk.
Nathan Paine Davey, prosecuting, said the officer was off duty when the “very drunk” Russian woman entered the bar.
“The victim in this case apparently saw her drinking from a bottle of wine he suspected was not bought at the pub,” Mr Davey said.
“She was confronted by other customers and then she tried to drink other people’s drinks.
“That’s when Mr Bodenham said he decided to get involved.
“He took her outside the pub and then during that there was a struggle and the accused threw a closed fist which landed on his upper lip which caused swelling .”
Mr Bodenham said the fact that she was wearing a red shawl or blanket made Ms Woolnough stand out.
“I took her gently by the wrists behind her back,” he said.
The officer claimed the way she was holding the wine bottle made him suspect it had been stolen.
Meanwhile, Ms Woolnough said: ‘I was trying to get away from him. I was trying to push my body away. He had no right to hold me back.
“His face was so red – I think he was more drunk than me.”
Ms Woolnough claimed the officer never let her go or tried to calm her down.
She insisted she acted in self-defense and she was cleared of the assault by beating her after the court was shown CCTV of the incident.
Judiciary Chairperson Karen O’Brien said: ‘Your version of events is clearly supported by CCTV.
Ms Woolnough sparked outrage in 2015 when she painted the former lifeboat house Worthing bright pink
The former neon pink house painted by Ms Woolnough has since been repainted white after the woman sparked outrage among her neighbors for anti-social actions.
“It is clear that a struggle ensued which resulted in you being taken away and held down. Contact with the complainant did occur.
“The force you used to free your arms was necessary and reasonable to defend yourself. Your reaction was instinctive.
Ms Woolnough, of no fixed address, cried as she was cleared of assaulting the special constable.
Earlier, she told the court: ‘I’m so scared to tell anyone I’m Russian. I had to move to London for my own safety. In the suburbs, if I tell someone that I am Russian, they will look at me with hatred.
The court heard Ms Woolnough had 32 convictions for 67 offenses but claims she has links to Russian royalty as she shares her first two names with a Russian Grand Duchess and sister of Tsar Nicholas II who died in exile in 1960.
She also claimed to have such severe liver disease that she would die if she had another drink.
In August 2015, local Brighton and Hove-based newspaper The Argus shared an article titled ‘Painting a house pink was a ‘call for help’, says Alex Capone’ – which details how Ms Woolnough sparked an outcry when she painted the old lifeboat house in Worthing bright pink.
Speaking to The Argus, Ms Woolnough said: ‘It was a cry for help.
The local newspaper also ran an article the same month, titled “Beware Russia, Al Capone is coming back.”
The article explained that the “nightmarish neighbor” who had subjected the inhabitants to a “reign of terror” had returned to her homeland, Russia.
The article also mentioned that Ms Woolnough received an ASBO after abusing drunk neighbors and blasting music at late night parties.
According to the newspaper, a friend of Ms Woolnough said she was a ‘good girl’ and had left the country to ‘get by’.