A WEALTHY businessman who repeatedly blocked his neighbour’s driveway with his car during a parking “war of attrition” has been ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation.
David Comerford, 46, was convicted of harassment after deliberately using his Range Rover to stop former solicitor Mark Charnock from accessing his home.
David Comerford was must pay his neighbour £1,000 after being convicted of harassment[/caption]
Records kept by Charnock show Comerford blocked the driveway on 100 different occasions over an 18-month period between 2016 and 2018.
Comerford, who runs an architectural design practice, claimed he had “right of way” over the drive after beginning building works on his £500,000 house.
The two homes in Worsley, Salford share a drive, but Mr Charnock’s home is at its far end, and he has to pass Mr Comerford’s to access it.
The renovations saw numerous work vans parked outside Mr Charnock’s home, and while the workmen moved their vehicles on Charnock’s request, Comerford repeatedly blocked the space with his car.
Mr Charnock, who lives with partner Michelle Lynch, had to resort to documenting the behaviour by taking pictures with his phone and installing CCTV.
He eventually suffered an ulcer as a result of the stress caused.
‘YOU FEEL TRAPPED IN YOUR OWN HOME’
In a statement read to Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, Mr Charnock said: ”This whole series of events including the legal proceedings has taken a lot out of me but it was bad enough that we felt we had to.
”It has caused me constant stress when your nearest neighbour wages a war of attrition against you.
“It is particularly stressful when his behaviour stops you gaining access to the outside world and you feel trapped in your own home.
“Since we got the police and courts involved he has shown no contrition at all.
Comerford denied charges of harassment but was convicted following a two-day trial.
As well as having to pay compensation, he has been ordered to complete a 12-month community order, do 120 hours unpaid work, and pay £705 in costs.
He has also been issued with an 18-month restraining order banning him from contacting Mr Charnock or his wife.
‘STRUGGLED WITH EVERYDAY LIFE’
Prosecuting Zoe Earle said: ”This defendant pursued a course of harassment against his neighbours Mark Charnock and his partner Michelle Lynch.
“He parked his vehicle in front of their gates in an attempt to upset them.
”It got to the point that the victims struggled to cope with the harassment. Both struggled to cope with everyday life.
“The victim has had significant stomach pains.
“He was referred to a specialist and they thought it may be cancer but turns out it is an ulcer he feels is related to the stress caused by this.”
At an earlier hearing, Mr Comerford alleged it was Mr Charnock who had waged a vendetta.
”We started building our forever home but he objected to three of the planning applications,” he said.
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“First the double garage, then the change of fence, and then I wanted to raise the roof by one metre.
“The first time I was aware of the harassment allegation was when the police turned up at my door.
“There was no other place to park my car at that moment in time.”
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