Prison sentence for neighbour fight over fence

A man has been given a suspended 12 month prison sentence after an argument with his neighbour over a fence ended up in violence.

Raymond Chaplin and Neil Armstrong have lived next to each other since 2009 and the court heard that they have had several arguments since that time. In the most recent incident, Mr Chaplin was digging new holes for a fence on land bordering Mr Armstrong's land. Mr Armstrong offered to assist by putting the first fence post into the hole, but the court heard that Mr Chaplin became aggressive, saying the fence was not for his benefit, and that he would chainsaw any posts Mr Armstrong put up.

The argument carried on and Mr Chaplin is said to have approached Mr Armstrong, stumbled, and then fallen on him. The men began to struggle with each other while they were both on the ground, and Mr Armstrong was left with a fracture to his left cheek which required a metal plate to be inserted. He also suffered a torn tendon in his right arm.

Mr Chaplin blamed uneven ground and defective shoes for his falling on Mr Armstrong but pleased guilty to affray at a previous hearing. He had a previous conviction for affray, as well as others. The Crown Court imposed a suspended 12 month prison sentence and an 18 month supervision order, and a three month curfew.