Pensioner fined for hurling abuse at disabled neighbour
A pensioner from Tranmere, on the Wirral, Merseyside, has been fined £775 after they made a patronising comment about their neighbour when he saw them use an accessible parking bay.
When Anthony Doughty passed Clare Green’s home after leaving the pub at 10pm she overheard him mutter “poor old cripple. God bless her”.
Ms Green, who has not identified her health condition, has also recorded Doughty making insulting comments, calling her “a horrible fucking woman”, a “horrible old bag” and a “dirty fat cunt”.
She stated: "He clearly knows what he is doing and he doesn't seem phased and it has turned into a routine for him.
"I was really offended by the term 'cripple' and also referring to me as a 'horrible old bag' and a 'dirty fat cunt'. It was clearly aimed at me and is causing me great distress. No doubt the neighbours heard it as well and it was very embarrassing for me. I do not know why he is targeting me. I just want it to stop."
Doughty, 67, who works part time at a factory, was ordered to pay Green £200 in compensation at a hearing held in Wirral Magistrates’ Court after he pleaded guilty to harassment and threatening behaviour.
He was also handed an extra £50 to a £288 fine for carrying out a “disability hate” crime on top of £235 in costs and victim surcharge.
Doughty has been banned from making any contact with Green for the next twelve months, he gave a thumbs up leaving the court with his wife Susan.
The heated argument stemmed from Green parking on the street and the barking from two dogs she was looking after on behalf of a friend.
Angela Blackmore, prosecuting, said: "There have been issues in the past few years and more recently the behaviour has escalated. It seems to have stemmed from issues when Ms Green minded a couple of dogs. They were barking quite loudly and it does feel like the defendant has held a grudge against her. There were a couple of incidents in the summer of 2022 that were reported to police but things seemed to have calmed down."
She added: "The latest incidents occurred in June 2023, at a time when Ms Green had the window open due to the pleasant weather and as a result she could hear a lot more of what was happening outside. On June 5, she was at home and heard Mr Doughty returning home about 10pm. She said his usual routine was to go to the pub and return drunk. She heard him saying, 'Horrible fucking woman, what a horrible fucking woman' and said it was aimed at her.
"On June 6, he said the same sort of things at her then again on June 8, she heard him returning home. She tried to record him and put her phone in the window but she did not lean out as she didn't want him to know she was recording. He opened his front gate, and shouted, 'Isn't she horrible.'
"On June 9, there was another incident of a similar nature in which he said, 'You are fucking horrible you, you horrible old bag.' She provided police with the audio footage but on June 13, there was another incident, shouting about her being a 'horrible horrible woman'.
"She said that while looking at her downstairs bay window, he spotted a small baby monitor in her window. He puts his two fingers up. He spat at full force towards her pathway. She can hear him as well, but it went down his chin. She was disgusted by his behaviour but relieved that she was able to show the police the behaviour rather than just telling them.
"On June 14, there was another incident. Again, he was shouting about her being a horrible woman. She said she had recently had a disabled parking bay put outside her house. She heard him say, 'Poor old cripple, God bless her.' She said it was clearly aimed towards her.
"On June 15, he said the same sort of things, this time he just put his two fingers up to the camera in the window. On June 21, he shouts, 'Horrible fat cunt' and on June 22, he says, 'Dirty big fat cunt' which she felt was 'very offensive and derogatory'. There were further incidents on June 28 and June 30, including where he again called her a "fucking horrible woman". The complainant says she is anxious and stressed by his behaviour - in particular between the hours of 9 and 10pm.
"Police spoke to the defendant and he agreed that he did use the language detailed. He said it was borne out of frustration out of what he says were parking issues and issues that occurred in the past. He said he would not be doing it again."
Doughty’s solicitor, Nick Woosey, told the court: "It is a neighbour dispute which has reached the point where the final straw has broken the camel's back for both parties. It started with parking in the street.
"From his point of view, whilst he accepts what he has done, and he is sorry it has happened. He is a gentleman supported by his wife and he has lived there for 47 years and these proceedings have been anxiety inducing for them both. He is someone I would not expect to see before the courts normally."
Sentencing Doughty JP Geoffrey Green told Doughty: "I am quite sure you do not need me to tell you that this was a nasty incident, borne out of frustration that has culminated over months, years now. These things are not easy to deal with and not always easy to understand.
"There will be an uplift on the fine because of the derogatory comments about the lady's disability and we are then ordering compensation to be paid to Ms Green for the insults that she has suffered over a period of time. We just hope that this can be allowed to drift into the past and that you, your wife and Ms Green can get on with your lives."
[ Anthony Doughty has no previous convictions…but a pretty foul mouth! ]