Neighbours’ row over dog ends in court

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A lout swung a cricket bat when his partner fell out with a neighbour in a row over a dog, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how Adam Howarth’s girlfriend started ranting and raving and he waved the weapon around, shouted, swore and was abusive to the young neighbour and her stepmother in the confrontation on Moorland Road. The stepmother was trapped in her vehicle and a threat was made to harm the neighbour’s baby.

Jobless Howarth (20) had not been involved in the start of the row about the dog, the day before, but followed his partner after she marched up the street.

He claimed he took the bat fearing trouble.

Howarth, of Moorland Road, admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and possessing an offensive weapon and was given a 12-month community order, with 36 hours at an attendance centre.

Prosecutor Andrew Robinson said the dispute started the day before.

Comments were made to a woman about her Boxer dog being thin and she was said to have been striking it. The woman then made threats referring to the comments about the dog.

The next day the neighbour’s stepfather was subjected to abuse, the banging on the door started again and the occupants were told to “ come outside.”

At one point a threat was made to harm the neighbour’s baby.

When the neighbour’s stepmother arrived in a car the defendant was waving the bat around shouting and swearing and being abusive.

Mark Williams, in mitigation, said: “The dog is a cross between a Boxer and a Whippet and looks a lot like a Boxer, but with a very thin body and people sometimes do think it’s underweight. It isn’t.”

His partner was given a caution for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour. The solicitor said: “She accepted the dog had misbehaved and she had pulled the dog back, that led to comments being made and it escalated into a slanging match and abuse being shouted.”

The solicitor continued: “He shouldn’t have gone up the street. Neither should she. He has been dragged along. He didn’t have to go.

He didn’t have to pick a bat up. The lady in the car had nothing to do with it.”