Man, 59, ordered not to enter Northamptonshire village for 15 years
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A 59-year-old man has been ordered not to enter the Northamptonshire village of Blisworth until the year 2037.
At the beginning of 2021, Northamptonshire Police began to receive reports of anti-social behaviour from the occupants of a house in Blisworth regarding their neighbour - Adrian Paul Stairs, now of Wellingborough. It became apparent that this had been going on for some time and that others within the community had also been affected.
During his campaign of behaviour, Stairs used a chainsaw to cut down several mature shrubs in his neighbour’s garden which had been planted near to the disputed boundary line. Some of these shrubs had been established for more than 20 years and had been given as gifts from family members who have since passed away. As such, there was a strong sentimental value lost.
Stairs also assaulted his neighbours by threatening them with a brick during a dispute in the garden, causing the victims to fear imminent harm. Thankfully he did not actually throw it.
An investigation was launched by the local Neighbourhood Policing Team supported by the Anti-Social Behaviour Sergeant – Wyn Hughes, and over time, the team collected enough evidence to charge Stairs with criminal damage and assault with the case being put before Northampton Magistrates’ Court on November 28.
The victims read out their own victim impact statements in court which covered the years of anxiety, fear and despair they and their son had suffered due to Stairs’ persistent behaviour. They also explained in their statements that this had been going on for several years and that others, including pensioners in their 80s, had been badly affected by him.
As a result, Stairs was handed a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and crucially – handed a restraining order which prevents him from entering Blisworth for 15 years and from contacting the victims in any way.
Stairs absconded from court prior to sentencing and was further arrested and appeared again on December 2, where he was handed an extra two weeks' imprisonment to run concurrently, which was again suspended, along with an additional 60 day rehabilitation order for absconding from court.
Sergeant Wyn Hughes said: “When the victims in this case were informed of the result and the restraining order, it was like a weight was lifted off their shoulders. This is something they have struggled with for so long and therefore I am so pleased for them.
“However, there are no real winners in this type of case as the impact upon the victims has been significant and prolonged.
“I hope this case shows our ability to use both criminal and anti-social behaviour legislation in a positive way to protect our residents and keep our communities safer.”
Northamptonshire Police would encourage those involved in any neighbourhood dispute to try and resolve these amicably first and foremost.
The Citizens Advice Bureau can offer guidance to assist with this, including further advice where issues can’t be resolved such as seeking professional mediation.
Where mediation is unsuccessful or not possible then seeking the advice of a solicitor should be considered.
The police cannot get involved in civil disputes such as an argument involving the boundaries between properties.
Regrettably however, there are occasions where this type of dispute spills over into other behaviours including anti-social behaviour and criminal offences, and this should be reported to us immediately.