Councillor broke court order not to contact neighbour
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.
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