Woman trapped in laundry room by irate neighbour

Laundry room complications made it to the courtroom in Stockholm on Wednesday after tensions simmered over in a city suburb, Metro reports.

The case relates to an alleged breach of tvättstuga etiquette in Bandhagen last April, which led one 60-year-old woman to push her 46-year-old neighbour back inside the laundry room and refuse to let her out until the area had been properly cleaned.

When it comes to this ever-present complicator of neighbourly relations at Swedish apartment blocks, the rules of engagement are often unclear, particularly to newcomers. But the 46-year-old woman appears to have satisfied some of the most important criteria.

She cleaned the fluff from the filter on the tumble dryer and wiped all of the washing machines she had used. But the 60-year-old woman, expecting an altogether more thorough job, got in front of the door and blocked her neighbour’s exit. The time was 1pm.

“You have to clean up. I’m not going to leave you. We’ll keep going until 7 o’clock,” the self-styled guardian of the laundry room is alleged to have said.

Defence lawyer Carl Asterius told the court that his client had felt “very, very scared and insulted”.

For a full hour she was held captive by her 60-year-old neighbour, a woman she had never met before.

The ordeal ended when the 46-year-old managed to contact a friend, who in turn got in touch with the police.

The 60-year-old suspect has admitted to preventing her neighbour from leaving the laundry room but claimed that she only wanted to keep her there until the janitor arrived.

She added that any fines awarded by the court should in fact by incurred by the janitor as he was almost impossible to get hold of.