Raging neighbour's knife terror after kid's football lands on conservatory
ANGRY Peter Bowers lunged towards his neighbour with a knife after a child's football landed on his conservatory roof.
Amanda Shenton thought the 49-year-old was going to stab her when he flew into a rage, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.
After the ball accidentally bounced on his parents' roof, Bowers punctured it and threw it back, before accusing Paul Shenton of being an irresponsible parent.
The court heard Mr Shenton responded by saying at least he could become a parent, a reference to Bowers previously suffering testicular cancer.
Mrs Shenton tried to calm the situation, but Bowers leaned out of a bedroom window and the argument continued.
The defendant's father went to apologise and Mrs Shenton tended to her two children, who were screaming, while trying to calm her husband. But then Bowers came out of his front door brandishing a knife.
Mrs Shenton, a teacher, of Thames Drive, Biddulph, told the court: "I saw the knife as soon as he came on my drive. He was holding it up near his shoulder.
"He was saying to Paul, 'I am going to kill you'. Paul was over the gates. He (the defendant) was moving towards the gates and was smashing the gates.
"I intervened and told him to calm down. He did not. He pushed me down on to the steps and lunged at me with the knife and sort of grunted.
"He growled and lunged at me. His father managed to intervene. I thought he was going to stab me."
Bowers pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon on July 23, but did not accept lunging at Mrs Shenton with the knife. But after a trial of issue Judge Paul Glenn found Bowers did lunge at her, possibly to frighten her.
Heather Drew, mitigating, said Bowers had cancer in 2006 and a heart attack in 2010 and added he has no previous convictions.
Judge Glenn jailed Bowers for 10 months and made a restraining order preventing him having any contact with the Shenton family or entering their property for an indefinite period.
The judge told Bowers the ball going on to his parents' property was accidental.
"Your actions were extreme and totally over the top," said Judge Glenn.
"This was a terrifying incident. You lost all sense of reason. You took a knife from your home. I am sure had you been able to get at Mr Shenton in the temper you were in you would have used it against him."
Judge Glenn added: "The courts will not tolerate people taking knives to their neighbours following a very minor incident."