A man who threatened to poison his neighbours cat and have her dog put down during a five-month harassment ordeal has been handed a restraining order.
Mark Bloxham, of Vinery Road in Cambridge, faced a charge of harassment without violence due to his behaviour against his neighbour over five months last year (2017).
The 55-year-old was alleged to have threatened to have the woman's dog put down, threatened to poison and kill her cat and continually blocked access to her driveway.
Bloxham faced trial at Cambridge Magistrates Court on Wednesday (April 25) for the harassment, alleged to have taken place between April and September 2017.
He was found guilty after magistrates said his evidence was evasive while his victim's evidence was impassioned and consistent.
Margaret Morrissey, prosecuting, said the neighbourly dispute arose after both households had builders in to renovate their homes in July 2016.
Giving evidence the victim in the case told magistrates she felt her builders has been working extremely slowly because they kept being distracted and chatting to Bloxhams builders in the neighbouring garden.
She claimed she told Bloxham she had words with both sets of builders over the time delay – and after this Bloxhams attitude towards her completely changed.
'He said he would shove dog poo through my letterbox'
She said: “He told me Im not being f***ing spoken to like that and said he was going to shove dog poo through my letterbox.
“From April 2017 I was coming home to find he had continually blocked access to my drive.
“It was a frequent occurrence and it made me feel anxious and nervous.”
She alleged that Bloxham believed she had made a complaint about him to social services.
Magistrates were shown a recording of the neighbour asking Bloxham to move his car, to which he replied you p*ss me off, I p*ss you off – no before slamming his front door in her face.
'I've been putting fish down with rat poison in it'
Magistrates also heard that Bloxham had installed plastic spikes on his neighbour's fence to stop her cat using his garden as a toilet, before telling her: “Ive been putting fish down with rat poison in it”.
She said when she asked if he was trying to poison her cat, he replied: “Thatll get rid of it”.
She added: “He then started singing happy days are here really loudly; it sounds silly but it was really upsetting”.
She also said that Bloxham spat over her fence at her, and when her dog was barking, said shut the f*** up or Ill have you put down.
the victim said she involved the police because she was feeling threatened, adding: “Living next door to someone like that is unpleasant and distressing”.
She denied claims by Jim Dignan, defending Bloxham, that she was a serial complainer.
Giving evidence, B&B cleaner Angela Jakestay said shed overheard the comments about poisoning the womans cat, but said it was the politest argument shed ever heard.
In police interview, Bloxham admitted saying hed put poison down for the cat – but said he didnt carry this out, adding it was merely an action for the victim to take responsibility for her cat.
He denied harassing her or blocking access to her driveway repeatedly, but admitted his car partially blocked the space.
Giving evidence, Bloxham admitted to magistrates that he shouldnt have put spikes on the fence.
He denied making any comment about having her dog put down – adding that his neighbour had made unfounded complaints about him to police, the council and the RSPCA.
Bloxham claimed the woman clearly held a grudge against him, but denied his actions were motivated by malice.
'He set out to make his neighbour's life a misery'
During closing speeches, Miss Morrissey said Bloxham had set out to make the victim's life a misery.
However, Mr Dignan claimed she had put her own slant on things and that Bloxhams actions were not criminal behaviour, but instead simply a neighbourly dispute.
A probation report said it had been 28 years since Bloxhams last conviction – and that Bloxham suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), meaning he would be unable to do unpaid work.
Magistrates handed Bloxham a 12-month community order, with a curfew requirement between 6pm and 6am.
He was also made the subject of a two-year restraining order, preventing him from contacting the woman or going to her home.
Magistrates also ruled that Bloxham must pay £625 in court costs.