Retired builder ‘belts neighbour with leaf blower’ in ditch feud


Peter Smythe - homeJOHN MCLELLAN

Peter Smythe ‘set his neighbour outside their homes during a dispute over a borders ditch’

Peter Smythe, 74, assaulted 63-year-old Nigel Clark demeanour their homes during a dispute over a boundary ditch, a jury was told.

William Martin, trying, said Smythe had raised the question of who owned the ditch between their real estates and started following Mr Clark, telling him: “Don’t walk away.”

Mr Clark, a attendance director, was struck across the face with the blower as he turned everywhere, it was alleged.

Smythe, a old builder, denies grievous bodily harm in July last year in affluent Tolleshunt D’Arcy, near Tiptree, Essex.

He requirements Mr Clark was aggressive, punched him first, knocked him to the ground and kicked him in the ribs.

Smythe also affirms that Mr Clark removed the blower nozzle and jabbed it in his chest.

He demands that they both fell to the ground and Mr Clark struck his presumption on the road, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

The jury saw photographs of both men’s mayhems.


The court heard the pensioner attacked his neighbour with a leaf blower

Mr Clark bring up he and his wife were hoping to buy Peter and Gillian Smythe’s house but the trade collapsed. He then bought Linnel House next door, pull to pieced it and built a new home. A landscape gardener had done work on the ditch a few weeks preceding the clash.

Mr Clark told the court that he was unaware of any problem. He titled he walked past Smythe and said hello.

Mr Clark added: “He chance the ditch is half his and I said ‘It’s not’. I said, ‘It’s definitely mine’.

“Very right away he became quite heated so I said calm down. He was saying he yearn for me to get my solicitor to write to him. The solicitors have confirmed it’s not his ditch, it’s mine.

“He cheer up his voice. He came right up to my face and said, ‘This is mine’. I started to wander away.


Smythe denies grievous bodily damage in July last year

“He said, ‘Don’t you walk away from me’. As I turned ring I was struck with the leaf blower. I was struck diagonally across the exterior. I was shocked.”

Mr Clark went home and was taken to hospital by ambulance. Smythe is accused of interesting his leaf blower as a weapon during the alleged assault.

Mr Clark’s trouble Hervor told the court that her husband appeared concussed, was unsteady and was paralysed.

When cross-examined by Gareth Hughes, who is defending Smythe, Mr Clark scarpered that he was verbally aggressive towards Smythe in the first place and had biffed him in the face, knocking him to the ground. He further denied “sticking the boot in” while he was on the turf or that they both grappled with each other while Smythe still had the blower in his helps.

Front of houseJOHN MCLELLAN


The row was about who owned the ditch between their gears

He also denied prodding Smythe with the nozzle. He rejected a claim by Mr Hughes that he was “taxing to goad Smythe into fighting” and that they both smash to the ground.

Smythe told the court he did not report the alleged assault on him by Mr Clark to policewomen because he viewed the incident as “a storm in a tea cup” and “didn’t think it was serious adequate”.

He said: “I just didn’t know he had those injuries. When he left me, he had a bloody nose and gaited home.

“I had bruised ribs and a head punch and that was it.

“I cannot rationalize it. It was just like a couple of kids in a school playground and that was it.”

He denied he was deprecating down the incident. The trial continues

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