Sunday 20 October 2019

My terror after neighbour 'lost it' over repeated playing of Nathan Carter's music

Jason Kane has been offered free tickets to a concert by Nathan Carter
Jason Kane has been offered free tickets to a concert by Nathan Carter
The damaged property

Nevin Farrell

AN attack victim has spoken of the terror experienced by him and his pregnant fiancee when a neighbour smashed windows in their home because he was playing the music of country star Nathan Carter repeatedly.

Jason Kane (26), of The Elms in the Ballysally estate in Coleraine, said he could see how many felt the background to the case was funny - but at the time it was anything but.

His neighbour Stephen Leighton (53), who lives downstairs, was given a suspended prison term after admitting he'd been driven into a rage by the Carter songs being played over and over again.

He described it as "some sort of psychological torture".

The country star heard about the story and immediately offered gig tickets to the victim, a gesture that Jason is keen to take up.

He said: "I was playing my stereo in my bedroom, including Nathan's hit Wagon Wheel and other tunes. I am his biggest fan.

"Stephen Leighton came to my door and said: 'If I hear Wagon Wheel one more time I will smash that stereo'. He broke the windows that night, but it is fireproof glass. A fist would not have smashed it so he must have smashed it with something.

"He was drunk, and he still lives downstairs. I don't speak to him now over what happened. I had got on fine with him and I have been in here almost a year now... until I played Nathan Carter one night and - boom!

"I think I was playing it for an hour straight. It is an album and it was not just Wagon Wheel, but that is the tune that stuck in his head.

"It was serious at the time because my fiancee Bronagh was here and she was pregnant with our twin girls Madison and Olivia, who are now four weeks old, and thankfully she was OK and there were no complications."

Bronagh Hyndman (21) said: "I was scared when it happened but the pregnancy went OK."

Carter spoke out after Leighton appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday.

He said: "It's obviously a pretty serious story but I couldn't help but laugh that someone had been outraged by this song so much that they'd take the law into their own hands."

Leighton, who has a criminal record, received a suspended prison sentence of four months and was ordered to pay £200 to repair damage caused to his neighbour's windows.

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