Louth man ‘assaulted gardener with a rounders bat’

A Louth man has been fined after magistrates heard he had used a rounders bat to assault a gardener, who was trimming a hedge in his garden.

Court news

Wayne Cooney, 53, of Blenheim Close, admitted assault by beating when he appeared at Boston Magistrates’ Court on September 1.

Marie Stace, prosecuting, said Darren Biddle, was working at gardens in Blenheim Close on July 9 and was trimming a hedge when he needed to go into Cooney’s garden to trim the other side of a hedge.

She said he knew Cooney and had done work for him in the past, so had not thought it necessary to get his permission before going into his garden.

Ms Stace said that while he was using an electric hedge trimmer to trim the boundary hedge between Cooney and his neighbour’s properties, he was wearing a hearing protector.

She said he felt a blow on his back and turning round saw Cooney, who was holding a brown bat, swearing and shouting: “Get out of my garden and leave me alone.”

She added that Cooney had a public order conviction in 2020.

Michael Alexander, in mitigation, said Mr Biddle had just gone into the garden to get to the hedge and was on Cooney’s land.

He said Cooney had been shouting at him and getting more and more annoyed, not realising Mr Biddle couldn’t hear him.

He said Cooney took the bat with him and ‘poked him on the shoulder to get his attention’.

Mr Alexander said there was ‘not an intent to cause harm’ and that he had handed the bat to the police and had been expecting a community resolution, so was ‘very surprised’ when he got a summons to appear in court.

Cooney was fined 120 and ordered to pay £119 in court costs and charges.