Pensioner threatened Scarborough neighbour with a baseball bat

Bruce Crichton, 72, from Scarborough,was sentenced at York Crown Court.
Bruce Crichton, 72, from Scarborough,was sentenced at York Crown Court.

A fiery pensioner with a track record for threatening behaviour has been at it again – this time brandishing a baseball bat in front of a female neighbour with whom he had a long-running feud.

Bruce Crichton, 72, from Scarborough, walked up to the woman and tapped the baseball in his hand as she cowered behind a friend, York Crown Court heard.

Squaring up to the two frightened women, Crichton tapped the baseball bat and said: “This is what she’s going to get.”

Crichton was later arrested but gave police a story about carrying the baseball bat to pick up dog mess in the street, said prosecutor Michael Morley.

Crichton - who was living in Sandybed Lane at the time - was charged with threatening behaviour, an offence under the Public Order Act. He ultimately admitted the offence and appeared for sentence on Friday.

Barrister Mr Morley said there had been a long-running dispute between Crichton and the neighbour he threatened with the bat outside her home on January 8.

Crichton, who had two previous convictions for harassment and threatening behaviour, “came right up” to one of the victims and issued a threat aimed at the other woman who was hiding behind her friend. He then walked off, leaving both women “very frightened”.

The court heard that Crichton - who is currently living at a bail address in Halifax and plans to move to Whitby - was subject to a community order at the time for threatening behaviour towards one of the victims.

He was also subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting her, which forced him to leave his former address at Row Brow Court, off Sandybed Lane.

Judge Simon Hickey condemned Crichton for terrifying the women “on their own doorstep” and said the offence was serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence.

He said, however, that because the pensioner was trying to rehouse himself and had complied with his existing community order and curfew, he could suspend the inevitable prison sentence.

Crichton was given a two-month suspended jail term and slapped with a new restraining order which bans him from contacting the victims “to prevent the further harassment or (threat of) violence towards both these women”.

The order precludes Crichton from entering Row Brow Court, Stepney Close or Falsgrave Park.