Feathers fly in noisy ‘foreign’ cockerel dispute

Neil Dymott was cleared of harassment following a trial, but was told by magistrates his behaviour had been “childish, immature and petulant”.

The court heard claims the 56-year-old threatened to cut the cockerel’s head off and shouted homophobic abuse at Helen Richardson and Paula Holland, who lived next to him in Marchwood, Hampshire.

Neil Dymott was given a restraining order but was acquitted of harassment
Image:Neil Dymott was given a restraining order, but was cleared of harassment

He was also accused of playing loud music, including the Percy Sledge song When A Man Loves A Woman.

Mr Dymott, who denied both charges of harassment, said he only played loud music on two occasions to drown out the noise of the birds and said he did not swear at his neighbours or insult their sexuality.

However, he did admit calling Ms Richardson “a psycho”.

The defendant told the trial he had complained to police himself about the noise created by his neighbours’ cockerel and hens and blamed the volume on the type of chicken.

Mr Dymott said: “Those cockerels go off as much as 60 to 70 times an hour. This is not a British bird, these are birds going all the time.

“When they started crowing they do not just crow once, they crow, crow, crow.”

He added: “It’s the type of chickens – these aren’t ordinary little reds, these are colourful, these are Rhode Island reds, these are Plymouth Rocks, these are American reds.

“If these had been a British cockerel and going off at dawn and dusk we wouldn’t be here.”

The court has heard Ms Richardson and Ms Holland had arranged for the cockerel to be killed in August 2015 but the dispute continued after Mr Dymott alleged they were hiding a cockerel from him.

Helen Richardson and Paula Holland (L) accused their neighbour of harassment
Image:Paula Holland and Helen Richardson had been in dispute with their neighbour

The trial also heard Mr Dymott and Ms Richardson clashed in her front garden which she said caused her an injury to her arm while the defendant said he suffered a cut lip.

The restraining order imposed by magistrates prohibits Mr Dymott from contacting the two women directly or indirectly for two years.

Chairman of the bench Colin Wyatt said: “Whilst we find some of the actions and behaviour were inappropriate we do not feel this constitutes the offence of harassment.”

On the playing of music, he said: “We agree the course of action was childish, immature and petulant.”

Mr Wyatt added: “You have to live as neighbours, you need to behave and stop being stupid or petulant.

“Can you get on as neighbours, life is too short.”

© 2017, Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC T/A: Bro Radio & Sky News.

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