Man struck his neigh­bour with shovel af­ter row

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - NEWS - By Ed McCon­nell em­c­connell@thek­m­group. @EdMcCon­nel­lKM

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

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