A neighbour from hell whose antics forced a shop owner to sell up has been given a restraining order after attacking the businessman in the street.
David Lindley, who previously served for 19 years with the Royal Hussars and Royal Military Police, almost put Andrew Jones’s second-hand furniture shop out of business by repeatedly and drunkenly abusing his customers, Sunderland magistrates heard.
The 63-year-old, who went on drinking binges, would sleep outside the neighbouring Home from Home store in Stockton Terrace, Grangetown, after being kicked out by his partner.
He appeared in court last year where he was convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
Mr Jones, 28, moved to a new shop – but his troubles with Lindley flared up again earlier this year.
Prosecutor Glenda Beck said: “The defendant has alcohol issues and this affects his behaviour towards the injured party and his customers. As a result of that, the injured party made the decision to relocate his business.”
On January 20, Mr Jones and his father delivered a bed to a customer living next door to Lindley, the court heard. They were confronted by Lindley, who broke the wing mirror of the van.
“The defendant seemed intent on confrontation,” Ms Beck said. “He emerged from the property, removing his jacket as if he intended to fight.
“Mr Jones’ father told him to go away, so he stopped in front of the van, making it impossible for them to leave.”
Lindley turned his attentions to Mr Jones and said “It’s him I’m after, it’s him I’m going to burn,” before punching him in the neck.
“He swung another punch, which missed. He (Mr Jones) thought he was going to be further assaulted, and, as an act of self defence, he punched the defendant, causing him to fall to the ground.
“He then took the opportunity to get back in the van,” Ms Beck added.
Lindley pleaded guilty to common assault, criminal damage, and breaching a conditional discharge.
Peter Thubron, defending, said Lindley had returned home from a funeral to find the van parked on the pavement, adding “He suffers more than the injured party. He was punched to the ground.”
District Judge Sarah-Jane Griffiths sentenced Lindley to a 12-month community order with 15 days’ rehabilitation activity requirement and fined him £80, with £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge. She also ordered him to pay £75 in compensation to Mr Jones
He also prohibited from contacting him under the terms of a restraining order, until further order.