Farmer smacked neighbour over head with piece of scrap after piling manure on joint wall
A Clare pensioner has been convicted of assault in a row with his neighbour over the pensioner piling horse manure on a wall that divides the two men's properties.
At Ennis District Court, Brett Payton (46) told the court how he was assaulted by 68-year-old neighbour Joe Williams of Ballytarsna, Kilshanny when the pensioner struck him on the head with a piece of scrap.
Mr Payton said that he was struck on the head by Mr Williams after he tried to cut down plastic sheeting on the wall that contained the horse manure and the other rubbish that was spilling into his rented property.
In court, Insp Tom Kennedy put it to Mr Williams that "you deliberately piled on the horse manure on the wall in an effort to intimidate, antagonise and annoy Mr Payton".
Insp Kennedy said: "You resent Mr Payton living in the property beside you. That is what this is about." In reply, Mr Williams said: "Not at all. I never intimidated anyone."
Insp Kennedy said that it was "very unusual behaviour" to be piling horse manure on a wall looking onto his neighbours' home and the excuse advanced by Mr Williams that he was putting the horse manure there as a deterrent to crows not to eat his horses' feed "is not credible".
In reply, the farmer said: "It is doing the job for me anyway."
In evidence, Mr Payton told the court that Mr Williams told him that "he would continue to pile up the horse manure until I moved out".
Mr Payton has rented his home with his partner, Clare Gallagher and two children for the past three years.
Recalling the assault that occurred on the afternoon of April 4th last year at his home at Ballytarsna near the north Clare village of Kilshanny, Mr Patyon said that for several days prior, Mr Williams had been piling on the rubbish, including horse manure, on black wrapping on top of the wall that borders the two properties.
Mr Payton said that horse manure was dropping into his garden and he went to cut the plastic wrapping down.
He said: "I gathered the black wrapping in my hand and then 'smack!' - Joe Williams had hit me with a piece of scrap across the head from across the wall."
Mr Payton said that he received a "cut on my head and drag marks and scratches".
In his evidence, Mr Williams denied that he struck Mr Payton stating "I had nothing in my hands. I never hit a man in my life and I have no intention of."
He said: "Mr Payton was roaring like a mad man saying 'you're a tinker' and 'you're a tramp'."
In his judgement, Judge John King said that is "satisfied that Mr Williams did strike Mr Payton and is guilty as charged".