A LAMPETER MAN who inadvertently damaged his neighbour’s front door when locked out appeared before magistrates in Aberystwyth Justice Centre on Wednesday (Apr 6).
Stewart Edwards, 34, of Bryngwyn, North Road, pleaded guilty to criminal damage. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of using threatening or abusive behaviour, which related to another incident.
In relation to the abusive behaviour charge, Kevin Challinor told the court that the police had been contacted by the manager of the Black Lion public house, who said that a customer was ‘causing problems,’ at around 4.30pm on Jan 30.
The complainant, a member of staff, told officers that Edwards had entered the pub to discuss a ban which had been imposed previously. He then made threatening gestures to the staff member while repeatedly telling him to ‘f*** off.
The criminal damage charge related to an incident in the block of flats where Edwards lives, which occurred on February 4.
The complainant, Edwards’ neighbour, heard someone banging on his door at around 11.50pm. When they began shouting, he recognised Edwards’ voice. The banging then became louder.
The complainant was unwilling to answer the door, but went into the hallway and told Edwards to stop. At this point, he noticed that the door, frame, and lock had been broken. It is believed that Edwards hit the door with a fire extinguisher.
Defending Alison Mathias said that in relation to the public order offence, Edwards had been banned from the pub in November last year. After apologising, the manager had told him to come back in the New Year and discuss his ban.
Apparently, Ms Mathias said, Edwards had returned on several occasions, only to be told to return in a few days. On this occasion, he had been drinking, and now acknowledged that his behaviour had been unacceptable. Ms Mathias added that he had not returned to the premises since.
In the case of the criminal damage charge, Ms Mathias said that Edwards had been locked out of his flat by his girlfriend, and had gone out and got drunk. When he returned, he had tried to break into his flat. However, as a result of intoxication, he had targeted the door of his neighbour’s flat, which was opposite his own.
However, Ms Mathias said that after this incident, Edwards had woken up in the hallway at 5am covered by a blanket, which had been provided by the complainant.
She also pointed out that the complainant had initially reported the matter to Tai Cântref, the owners of the flats, to get the door fixed, and they had told him that he needed to report it to the police.
With regards compensation, as no receipt or claim had been submitted by Tai Cântref, Ms Mathias expressed ‘concern’ that magistrates were expected to award compensation without any financial evidence.
Edwards was fined £85 for criminal damage, and £40 for the public order offence. He was also ordered to pay costs totalling £105. No compensation was awarded.