A NEIGHBOUR from hell has driven a storekeeper to shut up shop and move on after he repeatedly abused his customers and slept in his doorway.
David Lindley, 62, who lives next door to second-hand furniture shop Home from Home, in Grangetown, would go on drinking binges and sleep outside after being kicked out by his partner.
And after a 20-day drinking session in February, shop owner Andrew Jones has had enough of Lindley’s drunken antics, which he says have lost him a significant amount of business.
He has put the premises, in Stockton Terrace, up for let and plans to relocate to a new area.
On Friday, Lindley pleaded guilty via his solicitor to a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress, between February 5 and February 20.
He was not required to attend Sunderland Magistrates’ Court and was fined £80, with £85 costs and a £20 surcharge.
It wasn’t a dead body, of course, it was Mr Lindley sleeping in front of the shop.Prosecutor Lee Poppett
Prosecutor Lee Poppett said: “The complainant in the case, Mr Jones runs a second-hand furniture shop.
“Mr Lindley lives next door and every now and than he goes on a drinking binge and in February this year, this is what he did.
“Shortly after the beginning of February he is thrown out by his wife. He spends his time lying outside the store and causing distress to customers, when he comes inside the shop.
“Customers attending the shop at one point told Mr Jones there was a dead body lying outside. It wasn’t a dead body, of course, it was Mr Lindley sleeping in front of the shop.
On one occasion, Mr Jones’s mother was inside, and he called her various abusive names, threatened and spat in her direction, Mr Poppett added. Police were called and Lindley was taken away and arrested.
Peter Thubron, defending, said Lindley spent almost 20 years in the army, serving with the Royal Hussars and Royal Military Police.
“He suffers from depression and during this period he was absent from home for 20 days and had not had his medication. He had drunk to excess.
“He regrets what he did and apologises for what he did.”
Speaking after the case, Mr Jones, 27, said he has suffered abuse from Lindley ever since he opened his shop in September 2013.
Initially he would have problems with Lindley every few months, before it escalated.
“He goes on the drink and his partner kicks him out,” Mr Jones said. “She won’t let him in the house so he sleeps in the garden.
“When he is drunk he shouts at my customers and pushes them out of the shop. He pushes his way into the shop, past customers. He urinates outside.
“I have customers coming from Easington Lane and Washington because I advertise items on Facebook, but I have lost a lot of business.
“I’ve had to close the doors, sometimes for half a day, sometimes for a day.
“It’s affected me financially. I am trying to move premises to a different area and the shop is now up for let.”