world : 'Bully' attacked neighbour over child's noise

world : 'Bully' attacked neighbour over child's noise
world : 'Bully' attacked neighbour over child's noise

Monday 1 July 2024 10:31 PM

Nafeza 2 world - A "bully" who kicked a neighbour recovering from a kidney transplant in the back during an argument over noise has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Steven Greener, 54, also punched his victim in the face during the five-minute-long altercation in January 2022 in Newcastle, the city's crown court heard.

The men had been on reasonable terms for six years, but fell out over Greener's complaints of noise being made by the victim's young children, the court heard.

Greener, who has since lost his home, had denied assault causing actual bodily harm but was found guilty by jurors. He was jailed for 18 months suspended for two years.

The court heard Greener had lived in a bungalow with a shared wall with his neighbours in Blakelaw since 2016.

Prosecutor Annelise Haugstad said they had a "reasonably calm relationship" until matters became difficult.

She said Greener had been in "poor health" and become "rather sensitised to noise", when things "erupted" at about 16:30 GMT on 27 January 2022.

The court heard the victim's young son fell off a sofa, prompting Greener to "storm" round and bang on the door.

Ms Haugstad said the victim, who was recovering from a kidney transplant carried out in June 2021, only opened the door slightly amid fears of contracting the coronavirus and found Greener shouting about noise.

The victim tried to calm Greener, Ms Haugstad said, but he kicked the door open, causing the door chain to fly off and hit the man in the face and him to fall backwards into a pushchair.

The victim's one-year-old daughter was stood beside him and was also knocked over, causing her to suffer an injury to her forehead, the court heard.

Greener then kicked the man in the back and punched him three times to the face, leaving him with a concussion, probable broken nose and injury to his back, the court heard.

In February 2023, Greener carried out racially aggravated harassment against the man, the court heard, with Judge Julie Clemitson saying Greener clearly thought he should get preferential treatment over his victim because of his race.

In a statement, the victim said the attack was part of a "bullying" campaign by Greener, which had left him and his family "distraught" and living in fear.

In mitigation, Peter Schofield said Greener had been "heavily housebound" for years due to severe ill health and therefore reacted more strongly to noise.

Judge Clemitson said Greener, who had multiple previous convictions including one for a road rage incident in 2019 in which he used a car door against another driver, had a short fuse.

She said Greener started making complaints about the family after they asked him to turn his music down.

The judge said Greener became "increasingly angry and less tolerant" and erroneously believed the family were making noise to deliberately annoy him.

In fact, the judge said, they "did all they could to keep noise to a minimum", such as keeping the TV very low and stopping their children from running around the house. They also gave him their phone number so he could contact them about any noise, which they would then seek to address.

Greener recorded the attack on 27 January and gave it to police, showing "so little insight" that he thought the audio might "help" him, the judge said.

Judge Clemitson said it actually revealed Greener's "bullying attitude and aggression".

Suspending the jail term, Judge Clemitson said she took into account his "significant medical issues", the fact the case was two-and-a-half years old and the conditions in prison.

Greener was also banned from contacting the family or entering their street for two years.

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