A Glemsford man has been cleared of assault and intimidating behaviour after it was claimed the alleged victims could not be trusted.
Jacqueline Healy, from Highbank in Glemsford, become embroiled in a dispute with neighbour Adrian Parmenter after her cat fouled on his front garden.
Mrs Healy told Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Monday that the argument had escalated and Mr Parmenter had assaulted and threatened her. Mr Parmenter denied both charges.
Giving evidence during the trial, Mrs Healy said she had initially got on well with Mr Parmenter, 35, after he moved in next door to her in January last year.
“That was until my cat pooed in his garden and it all kick-started from there,” she said.
Mrs Healy said that she wanted to put up a fence between the two properties’ back gardens to stop Mr Parmenter “perving” at her and her 16-year-old daughter, Georgina. In the meantime, a shed was moved to block his view on April 8, following permission from the council.
Mrs Healy told the court that when her daughter and a friend moved the shed, Mr Parmenter shouted abuse at them from his bedroom window and later attacked her.
“I was putting rubbish in the bin outside the front door when Adrian came behind me and pushed his fist into my eye,” she said. “He gritted his teeth and said he was going to get me.”
She called police, who arrested Mr Parmenter, and said the incident left her with bruising and a red mark.
Two days later, when Mrs Healy was walking to the shops with her daughter, the pair saw Mr Parmenter.
“He came over and said we had made a mistake getting the police involved and was going to get us,” said Mrs Healy.
Giving evidence via video link, Georgina Healy supported her mother’s claims and said she had seen the assault take place after returning to the family bungalow after playing football. However, she was unsure whether the incidents took place in the morning or afternoon.
Mr Parmenter, who has mental health issues, said although he had engaged in a slanging match with Mrs Healy and her daughter from his window, he denied ever having assaulted her.
“I would never hit a woman – I’m not that sort of person,” he said.
He added that he had not approached the pair to threaten them.
Prosecutor Nicola Leppard said magistrates had no reason to doubt Mrs Healy’s version of events, but David Cason, defending, disagreed.
He said his client was of good character, had no upper teeth – so he could not grind them – and the alleged offences had been “fabricated”.
Sarah Wenban, chairman of the bench, found Mr Parmenter not guilty following a brief deliberation.
“The prosecution’s witnesses were full of inconsistencies and were not very credible,” she said. “We found Mr Parmenter very credible and, at the age of 35, he has never committed an offence.”