Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Neighbours confronted after complaint over loud music from Peterlee house party
ANGER flared among neighbours over loud music played for several hours at a relative’s house party.
Christine and Robert Stephenson complained at the volume of music coming from the next door property in Peterlee, County Durham, as it drowned out the sound of their television, on the evening of Saturday September 8.
Durham Crown Court was told that Mrs Stephenson’s cousin, Tony Rollins, was hosting friends at the adjoining home, in Cumbrian Way.
Following an initial complaint Rollins’ wife turned the music down, but he came out and swore at the Stephensons, before going back into his house and increasing the volume again.
Anne Richardson, prosecuting, said at 1.30am the music stopped before Rollins knocked at the Stephenson home.
“He told them he had lived there for 15 years and could play music loud if he wanted.”
Miss Richardson said Rollins was pushed backwards, but he then threatened to burn down the Stephenson home, before returning to his house and coming back with a machete.
He swung it in the direction of Mr Stephenson, but missed, before his cousin ran between them, and pushed him away.
Miss Richardson said he returned home and the incident was reported to police.
Officers went to Rollins’ house and found him, “somewhat drunk”, while the machete was recovered from a bedroom.
He claimed that he went next door after the party ended to talk to the Stephensons as they had “embarrassed” him in front of his friends.
But he said he was punched first and contradicted their version of the incident.
Rollins, 37, who was bailed to an address elsewhere in Peterlee, admitted affray and possessing a bladed article in public.
Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said: “There’s an old saying: ‘Beer in, brains out.’ “That has never applied so much as in this instance.”
Mr Constantine agreed the offence, “crosses the custody threshold”, but said the defendant has few previous convictions.
He handed over character testimonials from two other former neighbours who spoke highly of Rollins.
Recorder Simon Brown said he accepted the offence was, “out of character” and warned Rollins if he offended again he would be jailed.
He imposed a 36-week sentence, suspended for 18 months, but with 250-hours’ unpaid work.