A ‘NIGHTMARE neighbour’, who is banned from contacting the people next door, hurled abuse at them and claimed they were “scumbags”, a court heard.
John Bushell appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday to stand trial after allegedly breaching a restraining order he was given 14 years ago.
The 86-year-old is said to have shouted at his next door neighbours, Kenneth and Marjorie Mills, while he was sweeping the street outside their homes in Mill Crescent, Hebburn, on May 7.
They called police after the exchange, which was filmed by Mrs Mills, and Bushell was arrested.
Prosecutors say the video shows Bushell, who has lived in the street since it was built in 1961, breaching his restraining order – which was granted in 1998, and forbids him from contacting, interfering with or harassing the couple in any way.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge in September, and claims he was provoked into shouting in the street because Mr and Mrs Mills are always filming him.
The retired bookmaker was back at the court yesterday for the first day of a two-day trial.
Janice Bellamy, prosecuting, said: “The restraining order was put in place in 1998, and was made for an indefinite period of time.
“There has been a neighbourly dispute for a long number of years, and Mr Bushell has been back in court, and convicted of breaching it, in 2001, 2006 and 2011.”
The court heard that in 2005, Mr Mills was given a caution after admitting pulling some guttering off Bushell’s wall.
Hebburn Neighbourhood Beat Manager Paul Johnson, who was in charge of the case, said yesterday the guttering has remained in Bushell’s drive.
Magistrates watched silent CCTV from a camera on the side of the Mills’s home, which showed the incident in question, and footage from a hand-held camcorder, which captured Bushell’s rant while sweeping the footpath outside his home.
In the video, he said: “Scumbags, look at my lovely house, look at this mess.
“I don’t know how they can come out of the house and look at this.
“They’ve got the place like a pig- sty.”
The court was also shown footage of Bushell, filmed from inside Mr and Mrs Mills’s car and home, which showed him standing in the street.
Mr Mills told the court that he was drying his car after taking it to the car wash when Bushell began shouting. He said: “He started shouting various obscenities at me.
“He wasn’t looking at me, but there was no one else around so he must have meant it for me.
“My wife came out with the camera because the police have told us in the past that it’s the best evidence against him.”
Mrs Mills said: “I’m not deliberately going out and filming him.
“I don’t say anything to him or even look at him because when you do, the abuse starts.
“Now I just go in the house.
“I should be able to go out into the street without having to put up with this.
“He has got no respect for police or anyone.
“He just does what he wants to do.”
The court also heard from two other neighbours who witnessed the alleged breach of the restraining order, but who said they had no problems with Bushell themselves.
The trial continues tomorrow, when the court will hear the defence case.