Man, 62, found not guilty of breaching restraining order against neighbour
- Credit: Archant
A man has been found not guilty of breaching his restraining order against his neighbour following a dispute over mowing the lawn.
Kevin Maynard, 62, of Brettenham Road, Hitcham was accused of breaching a restraining order against his neighbour John Riches on two occasions last year.
He appeared at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to deny both counts against him.
In February 2020, Mr Riches was fixing a roof with a blow torch when Maynard alleged that Mr Riches had made comments about him and had threatened to burn his head with the flame.
He said he had taken photos of Mr Riches as he was concerned for his safety.
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Mr Riches said that he had been heckled by Maynard and was uncomfortable when photos were taken of him.
In April 2020, Maynard had gone out to mow land outside the front of the pair's properties.
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Mr Riches and his wife Margaret O'Hanlan spoke to Mr Maynard and asked him to stop mowing, as they believed the area of land was theirs.
Ownership of the land is disputed; it is currently unregistered according to the Land Registry with Maynard now trying to register part of it as his own.
Witnesses reported hearing shouting, predominantly from Mr Riches, as the couple tried to stop Maynard from mowing the land.
Maynard said that Mr Riches had threatened him and said he would get a sledgehammer, which Mr Riches denied.
A neighbour, Rachel Norris, told the court that she had seen Maynard be pushed by Mr Riches.
Ms Norris had been asked to act as a witness to Maynard cutting the lawn following an alleged earlier incident of Mr Riches pushing Maynard earlier that day.
Eventually, Maynard moved away and the police were called to the scene.
After speaking to both parties, police arrested Maynard for breaching his restraining order.
Maynard told the court that Mr Riches was a "bully".
Ms O'Hanlan told the court she could no longer enjoy her home because of incidents with Maynard.
Maynard was found not guilty on both counts of breaching his order.
Magistrates' chairman, Colin Reeve said he had accepted Maynard's excuse of taking photos because he was fearful and also accepted that the second incident had not taken place in the "curtilage" of Mr Riches' home and was not instigated by Maynard, therefore the order was not breached.
A request for a further restraining order against Maynard was denied.