Michelle Vickers and her boyfriend William Longley placed their VW Transporter van and another RV on their street One of the campervans at the core of the row.
NIGHTMARE neighbour threatened to SHOOT another local in a row over vans parked on their street.
A female firefighter was thrown to the ground and her partner was informed he would be shot over a ‘festering’ and long-running parking quarrel with their neighbours. Outdoor-loving Michelle Vickers and William Longley were targeted by neighbours Kim Fowles and Stephen Barton who had grown irritated with where the couple parked their VW Transporter van and another RV on their tiny street.
During the altercation, Fowles knocked Ms Vickers over as her partner, heavy metal guitarist Barton, 54, threatened to gun down Mr Longley, 35, and shake him off his ladder as he was replacing a window. Hairdresser Fowles, 51, who had been with Barton in their local pub, later claimed Ms Vickers and Mr Longley had been ‘intimidating’ them over the manner they parked their camping vans outside their terraced homes in the generally genteel community of Malpas in Cheshire.
The pair reportedly claimed they had been yelled at, threatened with a baseball bat and attacked with a tin of deep heat spray. Ms Vickers, 32, escaped uninjured in last month’s incident but Mr Longley, who operates a drain cleaner business, was alleged to have been left in anguish by the threats. No gun was ever located. At Chester magistrates court, Fowles and Barton pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour.
Tanya Berridge-Burley, prosecuting, said: ‘It was 10.50 pm on July 2 when police received a phone from one of the complainants saying that there was a guy and a female at their gate and that they were being threatened. ‘ Officers arrived and went into the residence of Ms Fowles. There was a stench of intoxicants and Mr Barton was slurring his speech.
Claimed been Assaulted
The court heard Mr Barton claimed he had been assaulted when questioned by authorities who had been told by their neighbours that he had threatened to acquire a pistol and shoot Mr Longley. Ms Berridge-Burley said: ‘One of the complainants, William Longley, said he was up a set of ladders trying to fix windows which had been falling out. ‘ As he climbed up the ladder he heard Mr Barton declare he was going to shove him off. Therefore, he came down the ladder when Mr Barton crossed the road, thinking that he was going to carry out the threat.
‘ When he came down from the ladder Mr Barton became abusive towards him. Mr Longley stated he was talking incoherently and swearing.’ The court heard Ms Vickers then came out to examine what was going on and was pushed by Ms Fowles, forcing her to tumble to the ground. ‘ Ms Vickers has then closed the gate and secured it. \s ‘ Both defendants continued being abusive. Mr Barton stated he was walking across the road to get to a handgun. He stated he was going to retrieve it and bring it back.’
Both Ms Fowles and Mr Barton were arrested when police officers arrived, with Mr Barton conceding he provoked the incident while Ms Fowles denied striking Ms Vickers, claiming self-defence but later confessed to using threatening behaviour. In mitigation for Fowles, attorney Miss Stevie Lumb said: ‘As you have heard there is a history of a parking issue. Parking is fairly sparse. It is terraced housing with only a row of parking offered to the tenants.
‘It is an ongoing issue with the neighbours who have three or probably four automobiles that they park on the road outside of their neighbours. They include vans and campervans, we are not talking little vehicles. It has been a continuing issue for quite some time.’ For Barton who had recently been made redundant from his work as a production engineer, lawyer Richard Sibeon said: ‘The parking disagreement, which is a typical issue, has clearly been a festering wound that has been there for some time. ‘ His problem is that idle threat or the implication that he has some form of firearm.
He does not have a firearm. He does not know why he said it and has no relationship with weapons. It was presumably stated in the heat of the moment.’ Fowles was conditionally discharged for 12 months and sentenced to pay Miss Vickers £100 in reparation plus £119 in costs and a victim surcharge. Barton was fined £120 and had to pay £100 in compensation to Mr Longley plus £123 in costs and a victim surcharge. ‘This was a long-standing argument regarding parking,’ Chairman Tim Mann said, ‘No one owns the road and individuals can park where they choose.
I am scared that if parking is tight, the parking is tight. ‘ Whatever you may think about those folks parked on the road, it is a public road, you do not have any right to it. Getting to court about this is so unneeded and wrong and causes problems for everyone involved.’