Plumbing ‘sabotage’ sparked assault on nextdoor neighbour

Mansfield Magistrates Court

Mansfield Magistrates Court

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A Kirkby man attacked his nextdoor neighbour after accusing him of sneaking into his loft and sabotaging the plumbing, a court has heard.

Michael Kenneth Vince, 57, pleaded guilty to assaulting his neighbour outside his home on Edison Street on January 9.

The court heard the pair had been feuding ‘on and off’ for 20 years and Vince blamed his neighbour when his house had flooded the day before.

Neil Hollett, prosecuting, said: “The defendant came up to his neighbour in a confrontational way and started shoving him. The defendant said - ‘You have been in my house because the lift cover is off.’

“He claimed his neighbour had been in half a dozen times.

“He said his house had been flooded the day before and he believed his neighbour had tampered with the plumbing.”

The court heard Vince then threatened to kill the man and hit him on the chin, causing a small cut.

Andrew Osborne, mitigating, said: “He accepts shoving his neighbour against his works van and grabbing him by the neck, but denies punching him.”

Vince had been to the pub that afternoon and drunk three pints of beer.

Mr Osborne said Vince had complained to the water board and the council about the problems many times, ‘none of which resulted in positive action’.

“He really was at the end of his tether,” he said.

Mansfield magistrates heard Vince had a previous conviction for violence in 1996, but had suffered health problems.

He was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £85 and compensation of £50.