‘Dirty Santa’ shouted abuse at driver who parked on pave­ment

Macclesfield Express - - VE DAY SPECIAL -

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”

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