Blind athlete given restraining order after noise dispute

SENTENCED Richard Twose with his guide dog Bates. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (123956-1)
SENTENCED Richard Twose with his guide dog Bates. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123956-1)
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A BLIND athlete has been given a restraining order after admitting to ‘going over the top’ in a neighbourly dispute.

Richard Twose, 35, from Youngbridge Court, Redlands Lane, Fareham was charged with causing harassment without violence.

At Fareham Magistrates’ Court Twose admitted to reacting to the slightest noise by banging on ceilings and shouting out of his window but denied deliberately playing loud music.

Twose is partially sighted and lives in a flat with his guide dog.

The harassment was directed towards his upstairs neighbour, Rudi Bettles-Hall.

Prosecutor Noel Watkins said that the harassment had affected other people living in the flat, such as the victim’s husband and six-month-old daughter.

He said: ‘These people feel like they are living on eggshells without freedom to do things. These are some of the downsides of living in flats.’

Mr Watkins said that letters had also been sent from Twose to Mrs Bettles-Hall.

He added that Mrs Bettles-Hall had also installed rugs to minimise noise disruption to Twose.

Mrs Bettles-Hall kept a diary of the offences after being visited by environmental health officers.

The recorded offences ranged from Tuesday, September 25 until Sunday, December 2.

Defending Steven Claxton said although there were disputed facts in the case, Twose accepted that he had over-reacted on occasions.

He asked that Twose’s health be taken into consideration as he had been very badly injured before Christmas when he was attacked which had put him in hospital. He added that the attack had damaged Twose’s transplanted kidney which means he needs ongoing hospital treatment.

Chairwoman of the magistrates Patricia Owen gave Twose a non-conviction restraining order.

She said: ‘We have heard what has been said on your behalf and you have accepted your behaviour has been over the top on occasions.’

She set three conditions to the order.

Twose must not bang on his walls or ceilings deliberately without good reason.

He must not send the victim any correspondence of any sort and he must not shout at the victim out of his window.

If he breaks these conditions in a 12-month period, he faces a £100 fine.