Lawnmower man ‘abusive to neighbour’, court told

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A man with mobility problems who drives about on a lawnmower subjected his elderly neighbour to verbal abuse every week for the last eight years, Belfast High Court has heard.

Prosecutors claimed Daniel Blaney “roared” threats at his cousin’s 82-year-old wife as part of a long-running dispute at their homes on the Ardmore Road in Lurgan.

The 60-year-old accused was arrested after the alleged victim Kathleen Blaney filmed his latest tirade on an iPad.

A judge was told that during the incident on December 1 last year he shouted: “I’m going to end you, Kathleen.”

Police called to the scene discovered him lying in a prone or “sniper” position in his front garden, the court heard.

It was claimed that after he spotted officers he jumped back up and onto a disability frame. Blaney faces charges of harassment and threats to kill over the incident.

According to prosecution counsel, the animosity may stem from property being erected in a back garden.

She told the court Mrs Blaney claims the accused targeted her for verbal abuse after starting drinking every Sunday for the last eight years.

When confronted by police he allegedly told them to “go and f*** themselves”, as they didn’t have a warrant.

Later he admitted in interview to having intentionally annoyed Kathleen Blaney, but claimed she had previously thrown a bucket of water over him.

Mr Justice Weir also heard how the accused had mobility issues and gets about on a lawnmower.

The judge replied: “Gosh, I hope the blades aren’t going around at the same time.”

Granting a bail variation, he banned the accused from drinking or making any attempt to speak to, shout at or otherwise molest or annoy Kathleen Blaney.

Mr Justice Weir added: “I do think if he’s going about on the lawnmower he should think about getting himself a proper mobility scooter. I don’t think going about on a lawnmower is a suitable thing, especially if he’s a man who is sometimes (partial) to over-imbibing.”