Brian's one-way rage

WHEN pensioner Brian Chapman saw a Land Rover preparing to drive the wrong way down his one-way street he instantly saw red.Having endured numerous scrapes and dents in his cars over the years, the 66-year-old had lost his patience with drivers ignoring the rules.

WHEN pensioner Brian Chapman saw a Land Rover preparing to drive the wrong way down his one-way street he instantly saw red.

Having endured numerous scrapes and dents in his cars over the years, the 66-year-old had lost his patience with drivers ignoring the rules.

But 4x4 owners Kevin and Elizabeth Heath could never have expected his reaction when they turned into Kingston Road in Woodbridge.

Having tried to drive down the road the right way but finding it was too narrow for their Land Rover Discovery, they attempted to turn around and head back the way they came but Chapman was having none of it.

The retired engineer confronted the couple and a stand-off, described in court as a “slanging match”, ensued.

During the argument Chapman punched the driver's side door twice, causing damage valued at £758.

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Mr Chapman denied a charge of damaging property when he faced trial at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Thursday, insisting he did not hit the door.

However the magistrates found him guilty of causing damage to the door after deciding the Heath's were more credible witnesses.

Chapman was given a conditional discharge on the basis that he was a man of previous good character but ordered to pay Mr Heath £500 compensation.

After the trial, Mr Heath said: “You can't go around damaging people's property in this manner. We felt we had a civic duty to come to court.”

It was in the evening of September 17 this year when the Heaths, who live in Rendlesham, drove along Kingston Road after taking their dogs for a walk in Woodbridge.

Mr Heath told the court: “He (Chapman) started saying 'you're not going to move forwards again' and he tried to stop me. He was ranting.

“My wife had got out of the car and Mr Chapman was angry with my wife.”

Shini Cooksley, prosecuting, told the court Chapman poked Mrs Heath in the chest and swore at her. She added his Honda Civic had been damaged while parked in the road a week before.

She said to him: “Your rage took the better of you and that's why this incident happened, isn't it?”

But before being sentenced, Chapman said: “I didn't do it, that's all I can say. I haven't done any damage to anything before.”

As well as the £500 compensation and the six-month conditional discharge, Chapman was ordered to pay £350 toward the prosecution costs.

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BRIAN Chapman's appearance in the dock at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court has led him to call on Suffolk County Council to install signs to warn motorists of the perils of Kingston Road.

He has lived in the road more than 30 years and says it is common for cars to be scraped and a bollard protecting houses to be hit by drivers unaware of how narrow it is.

He said: “I've lived here 36 years. It has always to my knowledge been a one-way street but nobody takes any notice.

“It's narrow and that's why it's a one-way street.

“I know a lot of cars have had their mirrors knocked off. One car I had had my mirrors knocked off four or five times.”

Chapman has called on the council to install warning signs to alert drivers to how narrow it is but a spokeswoman for the authority today said residents had not previously requested any action.

She said: “It's a narrow road and that's why it's a one-way street.

“There's a sign to say it's one way and to this point it has been felt that was enough.

“It is a road that is used primarily by residents anyway.”

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