‘Dirty Santa’ shouted abuse at driver who parked on pavement
A MAN described as looking like a ‘dirty Santa’ flew into a rage and shouted abuse at a driver who parked on the pavement and blocked his way.
Peter Rhodes, 62, became angry and abusive when a woman parked her car half on the pavement outside the former Co-op on Wellington Road in Bollington, Macclesfield Magistrates heard.
The woman - who described Rhodes as portly, with a grey beard and looking like a ‘dirty Santa’ - said he threatened to rip her head off and told police she was frightened by the ordeal.
The court heard Rhodes, who has a disability, had been walking past and became angry because there is a long-standing issue with people parking on the pavement and causing obstructions.
But magistrates told the defendant, of Barnfield Road, Bollington, he shouldn’t have taken the law into his own hands.
Prosecuting, Jonathan Egan, said: “The complainant saw a male walking towards her, with a portly build and long grey beard. The best way she could describe him was like a dirty Santa. He pushed her wing mirror so hard it made a loud bang in the car. She got out and said ‘excuse me’. He turned around and threatened to rip her head off and continued to be abusive as he walked away. She was frightened and got back in the car.”
Rhodes pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive words or behaviour on October 21 last year.
Defending, Julian Farley said Rhodes admits warning her not to park on the pavement but doesn’t accept he threatened her.
Mr Farley said: “People parking their cars half on the pavement is a long standing issue and causes a lot of distress and annoyance, especially for those with disabilities like Mr Rhodes and his mother. The pavement has been damaged. There have been complaints to the police, council and shops but nothing had been done. He used to be a very successful businessman but suffered a heart attack. His mum is unwell and gets about with a mobility trolley. He shouldn’t have taken his anger out on this lady but she was causing an obstruction for him and his mum.”
Magistrates gave Rhodes a one-year conditional discharge, £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
David Pearce, chairman of the bench, said: “We have listened to what’s been said but members of the public cannot take the law into their own hands.”
The Co-op has since relocated from the corner of Albert Road and Wellington Road to the new estate at Waterhouse Mill.
“Members of the public cannot take the law into their own hands”