A MAN who made his next door neighbours’ lives a misery by conducting a campaign of harassment over a boundary dispute has avoided a jail sentence.
John Bryan Richardson, 58, was instead given a curfew and a restraining order, which forbids him from directly contacting the couple who used to live next to him in Alverton Close, Great Habton, near Malton.
As part of the boundary dispute, Richardson, who now lives at King Street in Robin Hood’s Bay, spat at his male neighbour, who is a chauffeur for the Archbishop of York, and assaulted him by kicking the man in the head.
He also removed fence panelling, put notes through their door, marked out disputed areas with twine and showed secateurs to his neighbour, which was interpreted as a threat.
Although Richardson initially denied the charges, he changed his pleas and admitted to two counts of harassment, assault and using threatening words or behaviour.
He committed the offences at various times between November 2010 and November 2011.
Franklyn Garvey, who represented Richardson, said that the spitting had been unintentional, although a court hearing ruled it had been deliberate.
He also claimed that his client, who had no previous convictions or cautions, had been right when he claimed the boundaries at the properties were incorrectly marked.
He added: “He felt he was the wronged party and had to defend what was lawfully his. It is very clear that everything is not just one-sided.”
Mr Garvey added that his client had gone through acrimonious divorce proceedings and that the property in Great Habton was being taken over by his wife.
He also raised the issue of his client’s mental state, saying Richardson had recently driven to the Lake District with the intention of taking his own life.