When retired pharmacist Steven Freedman, 76 and his 72-year old wife Hedy were given restricted access to their grandchildren, they, like many old folk decided to put their thoughts down on paper.

But what followed condemned the elderly pair to a criminal record and a stern rebuke from a judge after they sent their estranged daughter a birthday card addressed ''Abuser of the Year.''

The Freedmans - both pillars of the Jewish community in Liverpool - had sent the abusive card in retaliation to businesswoman Danielle Hampson on her 46th birthday after she sent them a cut-out of a newspaper article which reported her being given a ''Woman of the Year'' award.

The grandparents believed the article was deliberately sent to goad them and Mr Freedman used cut-out letters from magazines as part of the couple's angry riposte.

When they arrived back in the UK after one of their regular six month stints at their second home in Miami, Florida, they sent the card alongside an email printed out from an American-based group called 'Alienated Grandparents Anonymous' which claims to helps those who suffer with 'alienation or isolation' from their grandchildren.

On receipt of the card on December 12 last year Miss Hampson, a trained counsellor who helps victims domestic violence victims went to police over the abusive card.

She said in a statement: "I am constantly worried I will bump into or see my parents.

"I don't go out in public or do community events regarding my Jewish faith. I feel petrified I will see them. My mother has developed an unhealthy fixated behaviour towards my children where I feel I am being stalked.

"I feel she wants to take them off me and raise them. In February my daughter approached me and said, 'nanny sends her love and is asking how we are'. It made me feel horrible. I just want to be left alone and for the children to be left alone."

At Liverpool magistrates court this week the couple's good names were in tatters after they pleaded guilty to an offence of sending an indecent or grossly offensive letter. Mr Freedman was fined £1,600 and ordered to pay costs of £235 whilst his wife was fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £110.

Cavendish Press' coverage of the case went in the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express. If you have a story please contact us on 0161 237 1066 or email [email protected].