Man harassed neighbours

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A man who fired a BB gun at revellers at a neighbour’s party has now been convicted of harassing the couple who live next door to him.

Christopher Mark Gowan, 46, of Kirkby Avenue, 
Clayton-le-Woods, denied the abuse he aimed at Carl and Lisa Whalley, who live in the adjoined semi-detached house, was intending to cause them harassment.

But Mr Whalley told the court: “I’m frightened for myself and my family. They are afraid of being in the house alone now. I feel frightened and intimidated.”

Following a trial at South Ribble Magistrates Court, Gowan – who is already the subject of a five-year ASBO – was convicted of harassing Mr and Mrs Whalley throughout September and October last year.

During that period, Gowan was also convicted of firing an imitation weapon towards a group of people in a nearby garden after becoming annoyed their party was going on late into the night.

He admitted: “It was a moment of madness.”

Mr and Mrs Whalley told the court Gowan verbally abused them on several occasions, driving past the site where Mrs Whalley works as a school crossing patrol, making obscene gestures and swearing at her.

Mr Whalley claimed he had been sworn at on numerous occasions, called names and accused of being a paedophile after he installed a CCTV camera to monitor the abuse he was receiving on the advice of the police.

The couple also claimed Gowan had shone a laser pen into their bedroom on two separate occasion although the defendant claimed he was checking the direction the monitoring equipment was facing.

During the trial, Gowan denied several of the allegations and insisted he had been provoked by Mr Whalley.

Louise Winter, prosecuting, played the court an audio recording of Gowan shouting abuse at his neighbour from the back garden.

During the recording, Gowan was heard to shout obscenities. Gowan said: “I said these things in anger. I am not proud of what I have said to him. I feel I have been provoked into it.”

Magistrates found Gowan guilty of harassment and will sentence him on Thursday.