A LYING neighbour-from-hell behind a terrifying two-year hate campaign was yesterday given six months to sell up and move – or go to prison.

David Constantine’s lies nearly led to newlywed Stefan Ward being charged with attempted murder.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the former Hell’s Angel waged a vendetta against his next door neighbours, Mr Ward and his wife, Lucy.

Police called to Constantine’s house found him in a chair with a knife sticking out of his chest. The 60-year-old claimed his neighbour had assaulted him and police arrested Mr Ward on suspicion of attempted murder.

But the truth began to emerge when police searching Constantine’s home in Manor Grange, Lanchester, found his diary.

The court heard how Constantine fell out with his neighbours after they were unable to give him a lift to Newcastle to collect a bike. Christopher Knox, prosecuting, told the court how:

■ Constantine complained to the council about the couple’s dog barking. Recording equipment proved the pet rarely made a sound;

■ Kept a log of incidents that did not take place;

■ Threatened to kill his neighbours, made vulgar gestures and used his fingers to imitate a gun;

■ Accused Mrs Ward of throwing a brick through a window. Police proved that was impossible.

Mr Ward was twice arrested for crimes he did not commit.

In December 2006, Constantine claimed Mr Ward attacked him with a frying pan. His neighbour was arrested but later released without charge.

Constantine, who needed six stitches, received £1,000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. His former girlfriend later told police that Constantine had admitted he had not been assaulted by Mr Ward.

Worse was to come, when police were called to the house on New Year’s Eve and found Constantine with a knife embedded in his chest. Mr Ward was arrested and questioned about the stabbing, but freed when police found “a mass of disturbing material” at Constantine’s home.

The search team uncovered knives, axes and airguns. A log containing fabricated complaints showed Constantine’s “extremely hostile attitude” towards the Wards, the court heard. Constantine was arrested after discharging himself from Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

He was originally charged with perverting the course of justice, which he denied – and causing the injuries to himself.

Yesterday, he admitted putting a person in fear of violence by a course of conduct between March 2006 and January this year. Judge Peter Bowers deferred sentence for six months to allow Constantine time to sell his home in Manor Grange, Lanchester.

In the meantime, he must live at a bail hostel. He will only be allowed to visit the house to carry out work to make it saleable and must be accompanied by a solicitor, a probation worker, a police officer or a workman.

A restraining order was imposed to stop him communicating with the Wards or making complaints about them. Mr Knox, prosecuting, said the police search of Constantine’s home also revealed hostility towards Derwentside District Council officials.

He was said to have been angry that his complaints – even though they were clearly made up – were not being taken seriously.

Mr Knox told the court: “It was as a result of this accumulation of evidence that the Crown took the view he was not the victim, but the aggressor.”

Constantine’s barrister, Tony Davies, mitigating, said his client still denied causing the injuries to himself on New Year’s Eve and the previous December. He said the log of complaints were “random ramblings” and added: “He never intended to carry out any of the private things he had written about the Wards.” Constantine disputed the elements contained in the admitted charge that on two separate occasions he made false allegations of assault against Mr Ward.

Officers also spoke to previous occupants of the Wards’ home and they revealed how they were forced to leave by Constantine’s aggressive behaviour.

The trouble for the Wards started soon after they moved into the semi-detached house in March 2006 and were unable to help Constantine with a problem.

Several weeks later the couple received the first of what became a flurry of letters from council officials.

Environmental health workers installed noise monitoring equipment, which proved the dog rarely barked, and it became clear Constantine’s complaints were unjustified.