Michael Keen, 71, found guilty of harassing neighbours, assaulting and resisting a police officer

The Scales of Justice

The Scales of Justice - Credit: PA

A 71-year-old man from Little Blakenham has been convicted of harassing his neighbour and assaulting a police officer.

Michael Keen, of The Beeches, was also found guilty of obstructing a police officer. He had denied all three charges.

The harassment relates to a period between May 21 and September 24 last year concerning a neighbour in the house next to his own.

The court was told during the trial at West Suffolk Magistrates’ Court Keen had caused annoyance to neighbour Christine Angell by leaving a loud leaf blower running and leaving his car running outside his house and revving it.

He was also said to have imitated holding a camera up to take a photo of Mrs Angell without her permission and to have referred to her daughter, who has mental health problems, as psychotic.

Keen, when giving evidence on Monday, claimed he only used the leaf blower for tidying his garden or drying his car and he would never rev his car but did leave it running as part on an oil change he did in advance of its MOT.

The charges relating to police officers occurred on June 9 last year when Keen was being arrested as part of a search of his house.

Most Read

Keen resisted an officer while being taken to a police car, during which time an officer sustained a blow to his shin from Keen’s foot while he was being held against the car.

Giving evidence yesterday Keen’s wife Linda said both of them would use the leaf blower and that their cars were “his pride and joy” and he took “great care of them”, including doing oil changes. She added he would “never, ever rev his car engine”.

District Judge Celia Dawson found Keen was guilty of assaulting the police officer and of resisting an officer.

She also found him guilty of the harassment charge but made only limited findings, saying some aspects of the charge such as the use of the leaf blower and the running of the car engine did not amount to harassment.

For the charge of resisting an officer Ms Dawson fined Keen £50, for the assault of an officer he was fined £100 and for the harassment the fine was £150.

Keen was also told to pay £500 costs and a victim surcharge of £20. The full amount of £820 has to be paid in 28 days.

Sentencing Keen Ms Dawson said: “I can’t reduced the fines because you didn’t plead guilty.

“I am not making a restraining order because the terms will be very difficult to enforce in these circumstances.”

Keen was already the subject of a two-year anti-social behaviour order made by magistrates on May 14 last year.