A MAN sprayed water from a hose into the open-top Audi convertible next door as part of a neighbour’s dispute in a cul-de-sac, a court heard.
CCTV played to magistrates showed company director Jeremy Hoyle, 43, washing his son’s Ford Ka before spraying water into Christopher O’Brien’s Audi A4 cabriolet beside it.
The drenching damaged the Audi’s internal electrics and left Mr O’Brien with a £1,000 repair bill.
Hoyle was found guilty of one charge of harassment without violence and two counts of criminal damage. He will be sentenced next Friday.
Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard how defendant Hoyle and business owner Mr O’Brien had been friendly to begin with but “things soured for some reason”.
They appeared to initially clash about parking on the street in Brockholes, Huddersfield, where they live.
Bob Campbell, prosecuting, said Hoyle “seemed to be obsessed with the complainant and has lost all proportion and acted maliciously towards him”.
The court heard that Hoyle emailed his neighbour, who was head of the Neighbourhood Watch, about a van parked on the street and what could be done about it.
Mr O’Brien investigated the matter, spoke to police, and found that the van was not doing anything wrong being there, he then emailed Hoyle back. This was in April 2014.
Mr Campbell said Hoyle “clearly took exception” to his response and wrote a letter, which he posted though Mr O’Brien’s door and several other neighbours’ doors.
In it he described Mr O’Brien’s email as “disgusting and unsavoury” and accused him of being threatening, bullying, intimidating and using underhand tactics.
Mr O’Brien told the court: “He had obviously taken a dislike to me for some reason so I gave him a wide berth.”
Describing the car soaking incident, Mr Campbell said Hoyle was washing his son’s car when he “deliberately or recklessly at the very least sprayed into the open sports vehicle”.
Mr O’Brien said on that day - a very sunny May 17, 2014 - he had moved his Audi from outside his house to the turning circle at the end of the street so he could cut his lawn.
Mr O’Brien told the court how he saw Hoyle, holding a hosepipe. He told the court: “He was spraying his son’s car but deliberately spraying it into my car.”
Mr O’Brien said he didn’t confront Hoyle but instead phoned police.
The court heard that just before the incident with the hose Hoyle allegedly scratched Mr O’Brien’s wife’s Vauxhall Astra. The incidents were caught on CCTV.
Mr O’Brien said the damage to his car had cost £1,068 to fix while the cratch on his wife’s car cost £90 to repair.
Nigel Jamieson, mitigating, asked Hoyle: “At any stage did you deliberately spray water into the Audi?” Hoyle replied: “No.”
Hoyle was found guilty of one charge of harassment without violence and two counts of criminal damage. He will be sentenced next Friday. Regarding the soaking of Mr O’Brien’s car, District Judge Michael Fanning said: “I feel it was a calculated act.”
Regarding the scratching, District Judge Fanning said: “He scratched the car and did so deliberately.”