Man struck his neighbour with shovel after row
A parking dispute ended in court after a man saw red and hit his neighbour over the head with a shovel.
Mark Batten admitted assault by beating on his first appearance at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court last Friday.
The attack was the culmination of a months-long row over spaces in Cornwall Close, Shepway, with Batten’s partner Rachel Stanley clashing with victim Aaron Davis.
Manjit Tesse, defending, said Mr Davis had repeatedly parked in Miss Stanley’s designated bay and one morning she decided to get back at him by blocking his drive with her Ford Focus.
The court heard Mr Davis, his mother, father and a neighbour were outside their house when Batten left his. Mr Davis shouted at him to move the car. Batten said he couldn’t, Mr Davis said “why not?” and Batten said: “I’ll show you why not and I’ll show you what I’ll do about it,” before picking up the shovel from a flat bed truck and hitting him with it.
Mr Davis suffered cuts and bruising as well as a substantial graze to his upper arm which, Mr Tesse said, could not have been caused by the blow.
But 31- year- old Batten claimed in interview he had struck out in self defence after becoming convinced Mr Davis had a knife.
He told police while he did not see the weapon he heard someone shout that he had one and Mr Davis’ aggressive behaviour caused him to fear for his safety. A neighbour who witnessed the event told officers she heard Mr Davis’ mother shout that her son had a knife.
After the incident Batten, a father described by Mr Tesse as a “hard working family man”, drove off in his van.
Chairman of the bench Alvin Shaw accepted that there had been provocation and did not consider the attack serious enough for a custodial sentence. Instead he ordered Batten to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and pay £170.
Mark Batten admitted assault by beating