A 65-YEAR-OLD cancer sufferer has been jailed for attacking his neighbour with a rock after a football was kicked into his garden.
Ronald Styne, of Park Road, Barton under Needwood, saw red when Paul Kendrick kicked the ball over the fence between their homes.
He was jailed for 22 weeks after hitting his victim in the head 10 times but is appealing against his sentence.
During his trial for assault, Styne, who has no previous convictions, disputed the facts, claiming he acted in self-defence and the rock in question was a “stone the size of a 50p piece” with which he hit Mr Kendrick twice.
However, he was found guilty and appeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court for a pre-sentence report.
Emma Thompson, prosecuting, said Mr Kendrick was at home in his back garden on April 13, playing football with his nephew. The ball was kicked into Styne’s garden.
She said: “The defendant started shouting and swearing, and Mr Kendrick went over to the fence to say sorry. The defendant grabs him and began hitting the injured party around the head with a rock about 10 times, causing a severe bump to the head and a cut to the hairline, causing blood.”
The attack was witnessed by Mr Kendrick’s wife and nephew.
A pre-sentence report said Styne had been having difficulties with his neighbours for the past two years. It was also revealed self-employed Styne was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and retired last year.
Steve Hennessy, defending Styne, said: “In the summer of 2013, footballs started coming over the fence into his manicured garden where he has vegetables and flowers. He did what anyone would do and spoke to the neighbours and expected that would be the end of the matter but it wasn’t. It worsened.
“Not only footballs, but tennis balls and golf balls, also causing damage to his health and he was concerned about his very young grandson who visits.
“Attempts to speak to his neighbour have come to nothing so then he reported the matter to the police hoping they would intervene and would show neighbours that this would not be tolerated.
“This is a significant period of continued provocation, leaving him in a frustrated state of mind.”
Jailing him for 22 weeks, magistrates said: “This assault is so serious because of the repeated attack on your victim with a weapon and in the presence of children related to the injured party causing injuries.”