Saturday, June 07, 2014

Undertaker vandalised neighbour's car with flour for preventing him getting his hearse into work

An undertaker threw a bag of flour over his neighbour's prized Mercedes in a parking row outside his funeral parlour - and it set as hard as concrete. Horrified neighbour Peter Elliot was told his gleaming black car had £7,000 damage from the 2lb self-raising flour bag hurled by funeral director Julian Riley. A court heard the flour set like "brittle cement" when it rained to caused widespread damage to the car.

Undertaker Mr Riley, 39, took his flour power revenge when he was furious that his neighbour's Mercedes was stopping him getting his hearse into work. Riley admitted emptying the flour bag all over Mr Elliot's Mercedes, not suspecting it would cause such severe damage. But Mr Elliot, 60, was stunned at the repair bill when he took it to a specialist garage. They found the flour had dried on the paintwork like "brittle cement" and told him it would cost £7,397 to repair. Mechanic Lee Kedward, who examined the damaged car, told the court: "It was crystalised powder, like brittle concrete, it had gone hard.

"We tried to use hot soapy water but there were large pieces where you had to use your nail to scrape it off. You couldn't get it all off without scratching the paint." Mr Kedward added that Mr Elliot had told him he thought the residue was embalming powder rather than flour. Riley fell out with Mr Elliot after he bought a house opposite him in the village of Clydach, near Abergavenny, south Wales. Newport magistrates heard the pair had argued over parking for weeks before the flour attack.

Riley admitted damaging the Mercedes-Benz E-320. He told officers: "Unfortunately I was very annoyed and took the law into my hands and threw a packet of self-raising flour over his car. It was more or less the whole packet." Riley pleaded guilty to criminal damage but contested the cost of the damage to the Mercedes. He went to a second specialist who estimated the damage to the car was around £400. District Judge Richard Williams described it as a "spiteful and vengeful offence". He adjourned sentence until next month.

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