Mum punched neighbour (74) in car row

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A Burnley mum-of-two has been convicted of punching her elderly neighbour after claiming he reversed his car into her daughter.

Angela Taylor (49) hit 74-year-old carer Frank Hodgeson in the back outside his home in Holcombe Drive, a court heard.

The defendant had denied the charge but was found guilty of assaulting the pensioner, at Burnley Magistrates’ Court. She was given a 12-month conditional discharge and £515 in fines.

The two-day trial heard there had been a long-running “history” between Taylor, her family and others in the neighbourhood.

Magistrates were told Taylor attacked Mr Hodgeson after confronting him in the street alongside her daughter Catherine in March last year.

She claimed Mr Hodgeson “hit” Ms Taylor while backing his car into the drive way – but a witnesses said there had was no contact with the vehicle.

The prosecution said Taylor then threw a punch which connected with the victim’s back as he tried to go inside.

The prosecution said CCTV footage of part of the incident leading up to the assault was recorded by Lynne Taylor and was shown to PC Wild who was called out by the Taylor family. But the police officer said the video appeared to show Taylor and her daughter to be the aggressors.

Police twice requested a copy of the footage but the court was told it had been taped over by Lynne Taylor.

Catherine Fell (defending) said her client had no previous convictions.

Ms Fell said after the alleged car bump incident, Catherine Taylor claimed Mr Hodgeson raised his fists to her.

She said Taylor had seen Mr Hodgeson do this and went to push Mr Hodgeson in self defence to protect her daughter.

Ms Fell said: “She accepted she pushed him. She said ‘I do it because I think he is going to hit my daughter. I can see his fists so I go to push him away.’

“She said that was defending herself.”

But magistrates felt there were many “discrepancies” and “contradictions” in the evidence put forward by the defence and Taylor was found guilty of the assault.

Speaking after the trial, Mr Hodgeson welcomed the verdict saying: “It has been a living nightmare.”

He went on: “It was absolutely awful. It is still affecting me now. It is a good community round here and I hope things settle down.”