Asbo pensioner jailed

DEFIANT pensioner Arthur Burgess is back behind bars today after magistrates found him guilty of breaching an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo). Burgess, Suffolk's oldest Asbo man, was given the order in October last year for harassing neighbours and council employees, making annoying phone calls and assaulting and obstructing a police officer.

DEFIANT pensioner Arthur Burgess is back behind bars today after magistrates found him guilty of breaching an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo).

Burgess, Suffolk's oldest Asbo man, was given the order in October last year for harassing neighbours and council employees, making annoying phone calls and assaulting and obstructing a police officer.

During one phone call the 81-year-old, threatened council employee Anne Westover that he would slit his throat on her doorstep.

His behaviour resulted from a dispute over a tree at his property in Cavendish Road, Trimley St Martin.


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He claims the tree overhangs his drive and the roots are damaging his sewer.

Today the pensioner, who appeared in court in handcuffs after threatening to be violent, is starting another stint in prison after Ipswich magistrates' ruled he must serve 26 weeks for breaching the order.

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Clare Ashcroft, prosecuting, said the latest incident happened on February 8 this year - the day Burgess celebrated his 81st birthday.

On that day he contacted Ms Westover, an architect at Suffolk Coastal District Council, who he was banned from telephoning under the terms of his order.

Miss Ashcroft said he had called Ms Westover twice on that day and on the first occasion she had warned him of the conditions of his Asbo.

Miss Ashcroft added: “He called again later and said he was going to go to an address, which she took to refer to as her home address.

“He said he would slit his throat on her doorstep and said 'how's that for trees'?”

Giving evidence Ms Westover said she had felt intimidated by Burgess' behaviour and had contacted police.

But Burgess, a former soldier in the 8th army in Italy, insisted he had done nothing wrong and that he would see justice done.

He said he was not anti-social and was “mentally intact.”

When Miss Ashcroft asked if he understood he had been ordered not to contact Ms Westover he replied “I don't take orders from people I pay,” referring to paying his taxes.

Burgess, who represented himself, was able to offer little in his defence but referred to his service in the army and his long career at Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies.

He said he had lied about his age to join the army early and had “got Mussolini out of Italy.”

N Have you had a neighbour from hell? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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