United Kingdom

Britain's 'worst neighbour', 71, is threatened with jail after spraying couple next door with hose

Harry Ferris (pictured at a previous court hearing), 71, sprayed Philip, 72, and Tilly Hellawell, 70, with the hose on April 5 after shouting about their dog fouling

Britain's 'worst neighbour' has been threatened with jail after spraying a long-suffering couple next door with a high-pressure hose in a dog-fouling row.

Harry Ferris, 71, sprayed Philip, 72, and Tilly Hellawell, 70, with the hose on April 5 after shouting about their dog fouling on land where he has right of way, a court heard.

The neighbour, from Bacup, Lancashire, is also alleged to have spurted water into Mr Hellawell's face while he was cleaning up dog's mess three weeks afterwards.

The homeowners have been embroiled in a bitter war over a yard outside their properties since Ferris moved into the farmhouse with his wife Jean in April 2012. 

Mrs Hellawell told police that she feels 'absolutely broken' over the row, while her husband said he can never predict when the next outburst will be, according to the Lancashire Telegraph.

Deputy District Judge Michael Hopkinson said: 'These disputes are notoriously difficult to resolve but it is you who has ended up in a criminal court.

'The consequences of any further offences are that you could be facing a prison sentence.' 

Prosecutor Andy Robinson said Mr Hellawell also hurt his knee in January when he was pushed by Ferris.

Jane Shaw, defending, said Ferris' wife, 78, has terminal cancer while he also has health issues, causing him to feel aggrieved.

She also said he spent £22,000 in legal bills trying to resolve the situation, and reacted when he was unable to do so.

Ms Shaw added: 'He has to cross the complainant’s land to get to his front door and where the dogs are fouling is where he has right of way.'

Ferris, 66, was convicted of two counts of assault in 2014 after the attacks on Mr Hellawell and his wife Tilly, 65. Mr Hellawell is pictured after an attack in which he was thrown over a gate

A previous court case in August 2014 had heard that after the Ferrises moved in, the Hellawell's were often on the receiving end of four-letter tirades concerning parking, their shared garden gate and alleged dog mess

Ferris stated that he lived happily at his home before the couple moved in in 2012, while Ms Hellawell accused him of threatening to harm her and kill her dogs.

One of the previous court cases in August 2014 had heard that after the Ferrises moved in to the property, the Hellawells were often on the receiving end of four-letter tirades concerning parking, their shared garden gate and alleged dog mess.

But the row escalated on Christmas Eve 2013 when Ferris, a director of a highways construction firm, lunged at Mr Hellawell as he was repairing a gate between the two properties.

On CCTV footage played during the first court hearing, Ferris could be heard to shout, 'you put your hands on me once more and you'll be dead - and I mean dead', in between a torrent of foul language.

Ferris (pictured on CCTV) was previously filmed letting rip with a torrent of intimidating abuse after finding a note on his car in the disputed yard

Mr Hellawell - who has lived in his property with his wife since 1986 - was then punched and hurled over the fence where he was left battered and bloody. He could be heard asking for mercy in 'the season of pleasantries'.

And 4ft 7in Mrs Hellawell was headbutted by Ferris because she threw a hose near a connecting fence while showing her friend a rockery.

After that case Ferris was convicted of two counts of assault and was ordered to pay £200 in compensation. The two men initially agreed to stay out of each other's way and Mr Hellawell allowed Ferris to use a portion of his drive to park his car.

Relating to the latest alleged incidents, the judge today imposed a 12-month community order, including 15 days of rehabilitation, after the 71-year-old pleaded guilty to five charges of assault.

He was also handed a two-year restraining order, stopping him from going within 10m of the couple, and charged a total of £595 - £200 in compensation, £200 costs, £100 in fines and a £95 victim surcharge.   

Football news:

Phil Neville took over Inter Beckham
Jose Mourinho: You can buy one of the best defenders in Europe for 70 million, or you can take someone who needs development
Ex-Arsenal midfielder Wilshere has signed a contract with Bournemouth
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Pogba played superbly against Liverpool. Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer commented on the performance of midfielder Paul Pogba in the match of the 19th round of the Premier League with Liverpool
To beat Real Madrid and Barca in three days is an atrocity. Athletic Director about the Spanish Super Cup
Poland coach of Bzenec left his post
Carlos Tevez: I won't stop playing for my family. It was important to win the Maradona Cup