Woman tells court her 71-year-old neighbour’s car revving and use of leaf blower affected her quality of life

The Scales of Justice

The Scales of Justice - Credit: PA

A 71-year-old man who is alleged to have harassed his neighbours by excessively revving his car has said it was because he was changing the oil in readiness for an MOT.

Michael Keen, of The Beeches in Little Blakenham, is charged with harassment without violence in relation to his neighbour Christine Angell between May 21 and September 24 last year.

He is also charged with resisting a police officer and assaulting an officer outside his home on June 9 last year. Keen has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Giving evidence yesterday Mrs Angell said Keen’s actions, which she felt were directed at her and her husband, means they now “don’t have a quality of life”.

She said on one occasion Keen had started his car, a Land Rover Discovery, and revved it up for around 10 minutes, before stopping it for a while and then doing it again. This was repeated several times.

On other occasions Mrs Angell said Keen had turned on a leaf blower and left it running, saying the noise was “absolutely dreadful” and that “it was so loud you could not even concentrate”.

Keen said the car was not being revved but instead was on a fast idle in order to flush through oil as part of a change before the car’s MOT.

Most Read

In relation to the leaf blower he said not only did he use it to clear fallen leaves from trees which had become distressed through lack of rain but he had also used it to clear dew from his grass before mowing it.

In relation to the charge of resisting an officer sergeant Kieron Pederick gave evidence stating Keen had been struggling against another officer on June 9 after being first arrested in order to search his house.

Sgt Pederick said while another officer, sergeant Bennett, had been trying to get Keen into a police car he had heard a commotion and turned round from his position near the house to see Keen bent over the car.

Going to give assistance Sgt Pederick tried to handcuff Keen but couldn’t because one arm was under his body against the car.

Sgt Bennett said while Keen was up against the police car he felt a blow to his shin caused by Keen’s foot. Sgt Bennett felt a knee strike against Keen’s leg was the best course of action to get him to present his other arm and stop further blows to his leg.

Keen said he was not resisting arrest but felt the force used by the officers, including the knee strike, was unnecessary. He said he felt several kicks but did not kick out and showed no force to Sgt Bennett.

Keen also said the grip Sgt Bennett had on him while guiding him to the police car after stopping to remonstrate with neighbours had caused bruises to his arm.

As a result of being handcuffed too tightly Keen sustained wounds to his wrists. Sgt Pederick said the cuffs were loosened once Keen was in the car but Keen said this had not happened.

The trial continues today.