Neighbour pulls out knife to settle row

Police at Range Lane, Boothtown.
Police at Range Lane, Boothtown.

A judge has given a suspended prison sentence to a 42-year-old man following a confrontation with his aggressive neighbour at a block of flats in Halifax.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Leon Clegg had had problems in the past with his alcoholic neighbour Michael Rhodes and the defendant had made a number of complaints about loud music being played into the night.

In January Clegg heard a disturbance taking place on the stairwell of the block on Range Lane and he picked up an ornamental knife before going out of his flat.

Judge Mark Savill was shown CCTV footage of the incident which showed Clegg trying to calm things down between Mr Rhodes and another man.

After several minutes Clegg finally lost his temper and pushed Mr Rhodes down some steps before taking the knife from his pocket and “sweeping” it across the complainant’s neck.

Prosecutor Alisha Kaye told the court that during the incident Mr Rhodes suffered a “nick” to his neck and also had his finger cut by the knife as he tried to push it away.

When police arrived at the scene Mr Rhodes was unable to help them because of his intoxicated state, but following his arrest Clegg explained that he had not intended to harm anyone and had only wanted to stop the complainant causing problems.

Clegg, of Range Court, Range Lane, pleaded guilty last month to a charge of unlawful wounding and Judge Savill said the “wholly exceptional” circumstances of the case meant he could suspend Clegg’s 10-month jail term for two years.

The judge warned Clegg that taking a knife into a highly-charged situation could lead to disaster because once a knife was in play anything could happen.

But he noted that Clegg had initially restrained himself in the face of considerable provocation and he was prepared to treat the offence as an isolated incident.

As part of the suspended sentence Clegg will be subject to an electronically-monitored home curfew between 7pm and 7am for the next four months.