Mark Donnison (pictured), 40, pulled down two fence panels which separated his home in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, from his neighbour James Reck’s
A man who tore down his neighbour’s fence and smashed it into pieces following a 12-year boundary dispute has been slapped with fines totalling almost £700.
Mark Donnison, 40, pulled down two fence panels which separated his home in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, from his neighbour James Reck’s.
In a furious outburst on May 29, factory worker Donnison broke the panels into pieces and stamped on them before attacking Mr Reck, who was filming the incident on his mobile phone.
Ian Martin, prosecuting, told Teesside Magistrates’ Court: ‘The defendant had taken it upon himself pull down the witness’ fence and then to further break up bits of it, stamp all over it before effectively invading over the property line to assault the victim in this case.
‘It’s all captured on mobile phone footage.’
In the video, which was shown to the court, Donnison can be seen tearing down the panels before walking over to the victim, who is holding the camera, and appearing to attack him.
A woman can be heard in the background shouting: ‘Look what you have done’ and ‘Get off my husband’.
In a victim impact statement, read to the court by Mr Martin, Mr Reck said the whole situation has left him anxious.
He said: ‘The amount of stress following it has been a nightmare. My stress levels have been heightened.
In a furious outburst on May 29, factory worker Donnison broke the panels of the fence (grey fence, pictured) into pieces and stamped on them before attacking Mr Reck, who was filming the incident on his mobile phone
The criminal damage charge related to him destroying the two fence panels, which were worth £50 (Pictured: Grey fence separating the two properties that the row centred on)
‘Selling our property and waiting to complete the sale – it’s increased my anxiety and I’m not a person who usually suffers therefore I know this has been a knock-on effect.’
Donnison, of Northpark, Billingham, pleaded guilty to criminal damage to property valued under £5,000 and assault by beating.
The criminal damage charge related to him destroying the two fence panels, which were worth £50.
Paul Watson, defending, told the court: ‘Mr and Mrs Reck have moved from the property, he has no idea where they have gone.
‘Also what is not noted is this – there’s actually two fences attached to each other so Mr and Mrs Reck had, without permission of Mr Donnison, attached their fence to his – screwed theirs to it.’
He said a dispute had been ongoing between the neighbours for 12 years and claimed Mr and Mrs Reck refused to compromise with Donnison.
Mr Watson told the court that the couple refused to do anything to resolve the issue and that his client ‘lost his temper’.
He said: ‘Afterwards Mr Donnison erected the fence on the proper line therefore the situation was resolved.
‘He accepts that he went too far.’
Donnison’s solicitor said the dispute had caused him anxiety and stress.
He added: ‘The neighbours have gone. He doesn’t know where they have gone to, that’s not going to continue and he replaced the fence at his own expense.’
The neighbourly dispute in Billingham (pictured) had gone on for 12 years
Donnison, of Northpark (pictured), Billingham, pleaded guilty to criminal damage to property valued under £5,000 and assault by beating
District Judge Mark Daley asked Mr Watson: ‘Has the 12-year dispute been about the boundary the whole time?’
Mr Watson replied: ‘Unfortunately yes sir.
‘There’s been reports by Mr Donnison to police, especially when a sign was put up and he asked the Recks to remove it which they did.
‘Reports by the Recks against Mr Donnison and his partner. Not everyday but on enough occasions to cause an affect with the mental health of Mr Donnison’.
District Judge Daley told Donnison: ‘You pleaded guilty to these offences at the first opportunity.
‘I have taken that into account, along with the fact you are, until now, a man with no previous convictions.
‘This is an offence which does merit some kind of punishment, I’m going to deal with that by way of a financial penalty.’
The judge fined Donnison £400 and ordered him to pay £150 compensation to his former neighbour.
He also ordered the defendant to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £40 surcharge.
Source: Daily Mail UK