Coun­cil­lor broke court or­der not to con­tact neigh­bour

Macclesfield Express - - VE DAY SPECIAL - KAREN BRIT­TON

ACOUNCILLOR has been found guilty of breaching a re­strain­ing or­der against his neigh­bour.

Bren­dan Mur­phy, 73, Cheshire East coun­cil­lor for Tyther­ing­ton, was given a two-year or­der in April 2012 for­bid­ding con­tact with neigh­bours Christo­pher and Mar­garet Boyd. It fol­lowed a con­vic­tion for ha­rass­ment.

Mr Mur­phy, of Hil­ton Road, Dis­ley, was fined £625 last year af­ter ad­mit­ting breaching the or­der by speak­ing to Mr Boyd on Novem­ber 12 and 13, 2013. But he ap­pealed the con­vic­tion and this was up­held by a Crown Court judge who said the plea was ‘equiv­o­cal’.

Mr Mur­phy went on trial at Macclesfield Mag­is­trates last month.

The trial con­cluded this week and he was found guilty. He was or­dered to pay £1,000 fines, £800 costs and £200 com­pen­sa­tion.

The court heard the ex­pe­ri­ence has had a bad psy­cho­log­i­cal im­pact on Mr Boyd.

He had placed an au­dio recorder on his fence and cam­corder in his land­ing win­dow to catch Mr Mur­phy speak­ing to him.

The court was told that while Mr Boyd was do­ing DIY on his roof, Mr Mur­phy said: “You can do a lot of peep­ing from up there, you peep­ing Tom,” and “How’s the ‘bald coot’ go­ing on?”.

In an­other ex­change, he said; “Make sure you don’t fall off that roof, I won’t be able to give you the kiss of life’.”

Mr Mur­phy, who rep­re­sented him­self, ad­mit­ted speak­ing to Mr Boyd.

He said: “I came round the cor­ner and saw him on his roof.

“He had some­thing in his hand and looked men­ac­ing.

“I said ‘make sure you don’t fall off that roof, I won’t be able to give you the kiss of life’. It was a joc­u­lar and spon­ta­neous re­mark.

“I ad­mit

say­ing

the words but I had rea­son­able ex­cuse. The Boyds have a habit of star­ing in an ag­gres­sive and men­ac­ing way, there was some­thing sin­is­ter about it.”

Pros­e­cut­ing, Neil Audley said he had no rea­son­able ex­cuse, adding: “They were snide re­marks.”

Mr Mur­phy told the court his neigh­bours had been “hos­tile” prior to the of­fence and urged mag­is­trates to con­sider this.

But mag­is­trates said his claims had no bear­ing on the al­le­ga­tions.

The chair­man said: “You ad­mit the words were spo­ken and re­fer­ring to him as a peep­ing Tom and us­ing the words ‘bald coot’ were of­fen­sive.

“We have not seen or heard any ev­i­dence to prove you had rea­son­able ex­cuse.”

The re­strain­ing or­der was re­in­stated for three years.

●● Coun­cil­lor Bren­dan Mur­phy breached a re­strain­ing or­der

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