Window smashed in revenge attack

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A convicted arsonist hurled a lump hammer through the window of his father’s next-door-neighbour in revenge, because he believed the victim had subjected his dad to abuse, a court heard.

Upset Jason Christian Black had turned up at the terrace property on Castle Street in Nelson on his bicycle, with the weapon hidden in his pants, at about 7-20am.

Police, who were already there, arrested him. When questioned, Black told officers: “Enough is enough and I went round to remonstrate.”

The 46-year-old had been told the neighbour Barrie Hargreaves, who was in bed when his window was smashed, was alleged to have been “catcalling” his dad Melvin, who was not well, Burnley Magistrates’ Court was told.

Black, who in the past has been involved in substance misuse, was jailed for 20 months for arson in 2010, after his solicitor said he “woke up in the wrong house with it ablaze.” He was spared prison for the planned attack on Mr Hargreaves’s home on July 21st.

Black, who has undiagnosed mental health issues, is receiving support from the criminal justice liaison team, has been referred for an ADHD assessment and is set to go on an anger management course.

The defendant, of Shale Street, Burnley, admitted criminal damage and possessing an offensive weapon. He was given 12 weeks in custody, suspended for a year and must pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

District Judge Alexandra Simmonds also made a 12-month restraining order, banning Black from going within the boundary of the victim’s home and from contacting him.

Sentencing, she told the defendant: “These are extremely serious offences because you had an offensive weapon in a public place. You had it in dangerous circumstances.

“It was aggravated because you planned the offence and it was retribution, as you saw it, for the things he had done. You thought he deserved it.”

Miss Charlotte Crane (prosecuting) said police received a call saying a dispute was between neighbours was taking place. She said: “Everything was quiet. Everything was calm. The defendant suddenly appeared on his pedal cycle, started banging on the neighbour’s door, then produced a lump hammer, concealed in the waistband of his trousers, and threw it through the window.”

Mr Daniel Frazer (defending) said Mr Black had kept a diary of the “anti-social behaviour” which he would say he had suffered at the hands of the complainant.

He added: “There were no threats. It was abusive catcalling when Mr Black was going about his daily business. There was also some suggestion chewing gum had been placed on his windscreen.”