A ‘nuisance’ pensioner has been forced to splash out over £1,000 in compensation - after damaging his neighbour’s home by blasting a hosepipe at her satellite dish in a bizarre late-night attack.
Nightmare neighbour Harry Wilson pointed the garden hose directly at the Sky dish belonging to 60-year-old Sandra Jorgensen in a deliberate bid to ‘annoy’ her as part of a bitter dispute, magistrates were told.
Mrs Jorgensen feared her home, in Hawthorn Avenue, Silksworth, was being flooded when water gushed down the gable end of her home, trickling off the dish into an extractor vent and onto the gas hob of her oven.
The water damage left Mrs Jorgensen with a repair bill of over £1,100.
She alerted British Gas shortly after midnight, believing she may have a boiler leak, before calling her electrician son to her home to help her find the source of the water gushing onto the side of her property.
Her son used the light on his phone to discover the spray of water was coming from over the fence from Mr Wilson’s home.
You have intentionally done this haven’t you?Uzma Khan
Mrs Jorgensen confronted the 68-year-old at his home but said the man denied any knowledge of the incident.
Police were called and Wilson was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
When officers turned to up to speak to Wilson, they found he was in a drunken state.
Wilson insisted he had drank just one can of beer during the evening and denied the criminal damage offence, but was convicted after a trial at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.
Magistrates heard that Mrs Jorgensen, who lives with her 82-year-old mother, had been alerted to water running down the side of her home by a neighbour just after midnight on Sunday, November 1 of last year.
In a statement read out during the hearing, she said; “Last year I had difficulties with my neighbour (Wilson).
“There were problems over a fence that separates the properties. This caused a number of arguments but i have never had any problem with property being damaged.
“I was told by another neighbour that that there was water pouring down the side of my house.
“It was like a running tap but i couldn’t see where the water was coming from.
“I thought it may have been a Halloween prank at first
“Then I rang British Gas as I thought it could be a boiler leak.
“I called my son and he came out and said someone was spraying water onto the side of the house.”
Wilson said he had used the hosepipe to clean the decking in his back garden after watching Match of the Day.
He said he believe he had switched off the water supply after finishing the clean-up and insisted he did not set out to douse his neighbour’s dish in water.
Uzma Khan, prosecuting, said to Wilson during cross-examination: “You have intentionally done this haven’t you?
“You took the decision to annoy your neighbour and purposely pointed the hosepipe towards the Sky dish.
“How else would the water go 8ft over your fence and up 12ft to the Sky dish?
“This would’ve been about 11.45pm - was this the most appropriate time to be cleaning the decking?
“You felt it was an appropriate time to be a nuisance to your neighbour.
The court heard that Mrs Jorgensen and Wilson had previously been involved in a dispute over a fence between their properties.
Mrs Jorgensen created an annex for her mum to live in at her Silksworth home as she became more frail.
However, Mrs Jorgensen says that she was unable get her to important hospital appointments because of a fallen fence from the neighbouring property, as she struggles to get a wheelchair to her mum’s front door so that she can take her to the car.
Chris Wilson, defending, said: “He is a gentleman of impeccable good character, who has no previous convictions.”
Magistrates ordered Wilson, of Hawthorn Avenue, to pay compensation of £1,204 - £1,104 to go to Mrs Jorgensen’s insurance company who paid out for repairs and £100 to her for the excess she paid on her policy.
He must also pay £600 of prosecution costs, making for a total court bill of £1.804.
Speaking after the case, Mrs Jorgensen praised police and magistrates for their handling of the case.
She said: “I would really like to thank the police for all the work they have put in and the court for making the right decision.”