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Neighbourly dispute ended in man being assaulted, court told
A LONG-RUNNING dispute culminated in a woman damaging cars and assaulting her neighbour, a court was told.
Police were called to Emley Moor Road, Darlington, on March 1, following a complaint that Jane Morris, who lived in the street at the time, had damaged her neighbour’s car.
Prosecutor Deborah Hodge told Darlington Magistrates Court that Morris had kicked the car several times before hitting her neighbour in the face when he came out to investigate.
Morris, 43, now of Coleridge Gardens, admitted common assault and criminal damage.
The case was due to go to trial on the assault charge, but Morris changed her plea the day it was due to be heard.
Mrs Hodge said the victim was left with cuts and bruises following the assault and more than £300 of damage to the car.
Stephen Andrews, mitigating, said Morris had a medical condition which was being treated and that she was in a better place now she had moved.
Although full details of her condition were not revealed in court, Mr Andrews handed District Judge Adrian Lower a letter from medical experts explaining the situation.
Mr Andrews said: “She was living in a street where people became aware of the fact that she had vulnerabilities.
“Certain people in the street played on those vulnerabilities in an attempt to get her moved.
“This was a situation that developed over a period of time and healthcare professionals became aware and a decision was made to move her away from the area.
“It was felt, as a result of the move, matters were much more stable.
“She is receiving regular visits and medication has been prescribed and she is in a far better position, both mentally and geographically, than when she was living in Emley Moor Road.
“But that does not excuse what happened, she recognises that her behaviour was not as it could have been.
“She recognises that matters could have been resolved more amicably, in a way that did not result in the gentleman receiving injuries.
“She is not a violent person per se, she has a condition and part of that condition is that she feels threatened in situations such as this.”
Ordering Morris to pay £500 compensation, Judge Lower described the incident as “deeply unpleasant for the victim”.