A dispute between neighbours in Bulwell over an allotment turned nasty and ended up in court this week.
Peter Horton (55), of Walnut Tree Gardens, Snape Wood, pleaded guilty to the harassment of Alan and Patricia Perkins, of nearby Dogwood Avenue.
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that the trio initially became friends in October last year after Horton offered to help out at the allotment, run by Mr and Mrs Perkins.
“But there came a time when Mr Perkins felt that Horton was taking over, moving things around when not required,” said George Speed (prosecuting).
“Mr Perkins decided to put an end to this by fixing a chain and padlock to the allotment gate.
“From then on, their relationship broke down. Horton became involved in a pattern of continual harassment, including verbal abuse, towards Mr and Mrs Perkins.”
Mr Speed explained that, virtually every day, Horton would walk past the Perkinses’ home, wave his walking stick at them, make hand gestures and shout abuse “at the top of his voice”. CCTV footage was shown to the magistrates.
On two occasions, he branded Mr Perkins a pervert and a child molester. On another, he saw Mrs Perkins in the garden in her night-dress and dressing-gown and shouted to her: “Get in and get some clothes on and get some black in your grey hair.”
Mr Speed said the harassment caused Mrs Perkins “great distress”.
“She has lost a stone in weight and wants to move house,” he said.
“Her blood-pressure is dangerously high and she is suffering from depression. She just wants Horton to leave them alone.”
When the Perkinses reported Horton to the police, a harassment notice was served on him, the court heard. But he failed to modify his behaviour.
After he was arrested by police, Horton said he walked past the Perkinses’ house every day because it was on the route he took to walk his dog.
He said Mrs Perkins was always waiting at the window to wave at him, so he waved back.
And he claimed he only called Mr Perkins a pervert because he had taken photos of him.
Horton blamed the dispute on a “breakdown in communications” and felt he should have been told he was no longer welcome at the allotment.
Phil Plant (defending) disclosed that Horton, who had no previous convictions, was in poor health, having suffered a stroke since being charged.
Magistrates agreed with Mr Plant’s suggestion that a pre-sentence probation report be prepared on the defendant “to assess his wellbeing”.
The hearing was adjourned.