An offender nearly ended up behind bars after he damaged a CCTV camera system during the latest row in a long-running neighbourhood dispute.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, November 9, how Ashley Arundel, 27, of Cross London Street, New Whittington, Chesterfield, struck and damaged an external CCTV camera with his motorbike helmet after his neighbour complained about noise he was making during the early morning hours.
Prosecuting solicitor Robert Carr said: “The complainant said Arundel moved in next door to him in January and there have been a number of incidents and some have been reported to police.”
Mr Carr added the complainant had a CCTV camera installed in the passageway and back garden of his home and after Arundel arrived home at 3.20am, on October 18, he was making noise and the complainant looked at the camera footage.
The complainant said Arundel was trying to get his motorbike into a side door of his house and the complainant’s partner confronted the defendant about the noise.
Arundel insulted the complainant’s partner, according to Mr Carr, and he later swung his helmet in his hand at the CCTV camera which came off the wall.
The defendant told police he had damaged the CCTV camera and explained that he had been drinking.
Arundel pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and he also admitted that by causing the damage he had breached the terms of an on-going suspended prison sentence imposed for driving while disqualified.
Defence solicitor Denny Lau said Arundel has been aware that he faced custody for breaching the suspended sentence order over a “moment of stupidness”.
Mr Lau added: “My understanding is that a lot has been going on for a year or so with the neighbours.”
He added that the dispute has resulted in reports being made to the local authority and there is “a lot of bad feeling”.
Mr Lau said: “This was the final straw when he was simply trying to put his motorbike into the house.
“There were allegations he was going to report him to the police and Mr Arundel did react and knocked the CCTV camera intending to move it so it did not face their home.
“But the CCTV was knocked off the wall and he admitted to police what he had done and offered to pay for the damage.”
Magistrates said they were willing to take the “most unusual step” of not sentencing Arundel to custody by not activating Arundel’s suspended sentence.
However, the suspended sentence was extended from 12 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months to 12 weeks suspended for 18 months.
They warned Arundel that if he commits another offence he can expect to go to prison.
Arundel was also given a 12 month community order with 40 hours of unpaid work and must pay £60 compensation.