Sunderland man ordered to pay compensation after smashing neighbour's gate in row over bin

A former Sunderland squaddie has appeared before magistrates after smashing his neighbour’s gate during a row over his rubbish bin.

Sunday, 31st January 2021, 7:00 am

Phillip Scorfield, 31, hoofed it after being confronted at the rear of his home in Somerset Cottages, Silksworth, Sunderland, on June 14.

The altercation happened because Scorfield’s bin had not been emptied by waste services and remained in an area of limited space between their properties, a court heard.

Scofield believed a threat had been made towards his wife, who was also present – and he kicked the gate in anger, it was said.

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Phillip Scorfield, 31, appeared in court over the neighbourly dispute about his bin.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson told magistrates in South Tyneside: “It’s a neighbour dispute.

“For whatever reason, there’s been previous ill feeling between some of the parties in this case. The argument stems from something as simple as the bins.

“It seems that Mr Scorfield has lost his temper and kicked the gate and damaged panels, requiring the gate to be replaced.

“He’s pretty frank with police when interviewed. He says, ‘Yes, I caused damage to the gate’.

“He said that he didn’t intend to cause damage. In his own words it was idiotic and stupid.”

Kashif Khan, defending, said: “What happened is that, at the rear of the properties, there’s not much room.

“The binmen hadn’t taken the bins, and there’s words from his neighbour about the bins.

“His wife is present, and it was following a comment made that he took to be a threat towards his wife.

“But his wife says that he kicked the gate, and he admits that he kicked the gate. He has a number of previous convictions but no criminal damage since 2008.

“He doesn’t feel comfortable living there and intends to move.”

The court was told that there was £265 worth of damage caused to the gate during the incident.

Magistrates ordered Scorfield, who has 22 previous convictions, the last in June 2017, and who pleaded guilty to criminal damage, to pay his neighbour £100 compensation.

They placed the offence in the lowest sentencing band in handing him a six-month conditional discharge.

There were no court costs or victim surcharge.

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