Saturday, January 02, 2016

Police called out 19 times over neighbours' dispute about garden fence and an inch of land

Police were called to the same house 19 times in a year because of a feud between neighbours over a garden fence and a strip of land less than an inch wide. Sydney and Norma Frost of Covingham, Wiltshire, say they were harassed on 66 separate occasions after they put up a fence which encroached on their neighbour's driveway. Richard James, 52, whose mother lived next door to the Frosts, allegedly banged on their doors and stared through their windows, leaving them feeling "intimidated". He also used threatening language towards them and almost hit them with his car, though no charge was ever brought for this.

Police had been called to the £200,000 bungalow 19 times during 2014 and at the start of 2015. Mr and Mrs Frost said there were 66 instances of harassment or antisocial behaviour. James was given a 12-month community order of 300 hours at Swindon Magistrates Court, after being found guilty of one count of harassment. Reading a victim impact statement in court, Mr Frost, 78, said: "There is not a day that goes by where we don't feel intimidated by the memory of what James has done to us." Mr Frost said: "I was devastated. No charge for anything. No charge for harassment, no charge for dangerous driving.

"No charge for the 66 offences. I explained (to my wife) that if the police wouldn't do anything then I would. I will arrange something, I will buy a gun. I can't just let them bully us like that. Then she gently put her arms around me and guided me to the living room. I am not ashamed to tell the court that we cried." Vyvyanne Thatcher, prosecuting, said the relationship between the two families had turned sour after the Frosts built a small wall on the driveway. The James family said the wall, and a fence which was later added but blew over in 2014, encroached on their property by a matter of centimetres.

He detailed how the disagreement worsened which led to James harassing the Frosts, driving them to install CCTV around their property. Defending James, Tony Nowogrodzki, said: "Some of the issues that the Frost family have complained about were described as being of a low level, such as slamming car doors, which Mr James said was just his habit." Mr Nowogrodzki said: "I would most respectfully say that Mr Frost has exaggerated the offence in his victim impact statement." Chairman of the bench Ninna Gibson told James they had considered sending him to prison. She also imposed a restraining order banning James from contacting the couple or going to their property and ordered him to pay court costs of £630 and a £60 victim surcharge.

1 comment:

Toogie said...

...not to excuse the bad behavior, but if the fence is on the neighbor's property (even if only an inch), seems like it should be moved over a bit. Problem solved !