Westerfield: Landowner accused of threatening dog walker with a monkey wrench denies charges


Westerfield - Credit: citizenside.com

A landowner armed himself with a wrench and threatened a dog walker during a row over a public footpath, a court heard.

Edward Wiseman allegedly chased after Michael Read after his wife told him Mr Read had threatened to come back with a shotgun and use it if they did not keep their dog and geese under control while he was using a designated footpath on their land.

Andrew Shaw, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, claimed that Wiseman had armed himself with a monkey wrench to use as a weapon and had driven along Lower Road, Westerfield, after Mr Read at around 10am on February 9 this year.

Wiseman had stopped his car and during an exchange of words had allegedly threatened Mr Read with the wrench.

During the alleged incident both men had gone to the ground and Mr Read had ended up on top of Mr Wiseman.

Several drivers had stopped to see what was going on and described Wiseman as being armed with a monkey wrench and being the aggressor, Mr Shaw said.

The court heard Wiseman was disarmed during the incident and before leaving the scene had asked a van driver if he could have the wrench back, The driver refused and had given the wrench to Mr Read in case he needed it as evidence, the court heard.

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Wiseman, 57, of Lower Road, Westerfield, has denied having an offensive weapon and affray on February 9 this year.

Giving evidence Mr Read, a painter and decorator, accepted he had told Wiseman’s wife he would come back with a shotgun out of frustration after he had been unable to use the public footpath on Wiseman’s land because of his dog and geese which he claimed were snapping at his dogs.

He retraced his steps after speaking to Wiseman’s wife and daughter and was walking along Lower Road when Wiseman had driven up and taken a photograph of him with his mobile phone and accused him of threatening to shoot his family.

Mr Read tried to explain he had made the remark about coming back with a gun in connection with Wiseman’s animals and not his family but claimed that Wiseman had come towards him holding a monkey wrench.

Mr Read had let go of his two dogs and fearing he was going to be hit on the head with the metal bar he had crouched down and ended up struggling with Wiseman on the ground.

Questioned by defence counsel Richard Wood, Mr Read denied knowing there was an issue about the footpath and that he had been making a point by using it to walk his dogs on the day in question.

He also denied he was the one armed with the wrench and not Wiseman.

In police interviews Wiseman said he had gone after Mr Read to take his picture after he threatened his family and claimed that Mr Read had produced the wrench and had raised it as if to take a swing at him.

The trial continues today.