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Great Britain

Man confronted neighbour with machete over noise from next door

A MAN said to be “at the end of his tether” over an alleged noisy neighbour confronted the teenager in the street with a machete.

Durham Crown Court heard that problems arose between Stephen Barry Metcalfe and his 17-year-old neighbour of two years after a house party in 2017.

Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said the defendant was described as having since taken “an awkward” attitude towards his neighbour, and also complained to his landlord.

Miss Lamballe told the court that feelings spilled over on the morning of June 15 as the neighbour was preparing to cycle to work and saw Metcalfe in the back street with a wooden handled machete.

As he tried to get past him, Metcalfe told him: “You’re going to get it,” jabbing the large knife in his direction.

Just at that moment a passer-by approached and so Metcalfe went back to his house while his neighbour rang police.

When officers went to his home and put to him that he had threatened his neighbour with a machete, Metcalfe told them: “Of course I have,” pointing in in the direction of a cupboard under the stairs, from where the weapon was recovered.

But at the police station he denied making the knife threats.

Miss Lamballe told the court the neighbour gave a statement saying he was, “frightened to death” by the incident.

Metcalfe, 57, Windsor Gardens, Consett, admitted possessing a knife or bladed article in public and threatening behaviour.

The court heard it was his first conviction since the early 1980s.

Richard Bloomfield, mitigating, said the defendant has had health issues in recent years, but was “at the end of his tether”, with the activities of various neighbours renting the property next door, including drug dealing , threatening behaviour and house parties.

“He simply acted, that morning, out of frustration.”

Mr Bloomfield said the weapon was a tool Metcalfe previously used while working for the Forestry Commission.

He added that the neighbour involved in the street confrontation has since moved.

Jailing Metcalfe for 12-months, Judge James Adkin said despite his difficulty with his neighbours, anyone making threats with such a, “terrifying-looking weapon” in public, must receive an immediate prison sentence.

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