An OAP was hauled before the courts for assaulting a teenager after suffering two years of torment at the hands of a gang of yobs.
Bob Harrison, 74, of Gardner Road, Morecambe, reached the end of his tether after years of sustained abuse by thugs who he says threw stones at his windows, put a firework through the letter box, threw eggs at doors, smashed bottles, threw oil at his door and car, and verbally abused him.
But when he finally snapped and confronted the ringleader, he ended up on an assault charge himself.
Both Mr Harrison and his tormentor were convicted in court.
Mr Harrison, a former merchant seaman, said: “On the day of the incident I was cleaning up my car and he was giving it verbal, spitting at me and throwing stones.
“I thought ‘this is payback time’.
“I got his bike and went to my toolbox and cut all the brake cables and spokes in his wheels.
“Then I said to him ‘How do you like having your stuff smashed up?’ He said to one of my neighbours that he was going to brick his house windows in, kill his kids and burn the house down.”
It was then claimed that Mr Harrison punched the youth three times.
He was arrested at the scene and after spending two nights in police cells he appeared before magistrates in Lancaster.
Although he pleaded guilty to assault in court, he has now denied hitting the teenager.
“I smashed his glasses before I trashed his bike but I never hit him,” he said.
“I was just pointing my finger at him. I wanted to plead not guilty but I was advised to plead guilty.
“A lot of residents came to support me in court. I had 15 to 20 letters from residents to support the case.
“This stinks, all of it. It is a stitch up, a whitewash and a cover up.
“I feel bitter about what has happened.
“The police said I was taking the law into my own hands.”
During the same incident Bob was hit by one of the teenagers with a piece of wood studded with nails and was left bleeding.
He required stitches to wounds on his arm and hand.
A neighbour who has lived on the street for nine years, said: “We have suffered a lot of abuse, stones thrown at the front and back of the house, eggs thrown and the clothes line cut twice.
“They are terrorising the neighbours and fires are being set all over the place.
“Although I don’t condone Bob’s actions I can understand them. Something has got to be done or someone will take the law into their own hands.”
Councillor Margaret Pattison said: “It’s a shame because he is being hounded by a gang of teenagers. It comes down to there not being a lot for them to do and with the police cuts as well it’s never-ending.
“The neighbours have backed Bob and given him some confidence in what went on.”
Holding a pile of letters from residents detailing their experiences at the hands of the gang, Mr Harrison, who has lived on Gardner Road for 38 years, said: “This is residents defending their homes, families, property and belongings against a bunch of criminals.
“(The gang) think no-one is going to do anything to them. My actions were justified.”
Sgt Adie Knowles of Morecambe Police, said: “A youth has been convicted of the assault on Mr Harrison and we also arrested someone for breach of bail in connection with the incident.
“Mr Harrison has regular contact with my team on a weekly basis and he has been referred to wellbeing services. We regularly patrol the area.
“We have received three reports from Mr Harrison over the past six months and these have been followed up.
“ Things have significantly improved but are nowhere near perfect.
Sgt Knowles asked people who are concerned about anti-social behaviour to contact him on 01524 596935 or by emailMorecambe.NPT@lancashire.pnn.police.uk.
Mr Harrison, 74, pleaded guilty to assault and was given a six months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £20 costs. The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm to Mr Harrison and was given a six month referral order and ordered to pay £50 compensation and a £20 victim surcharge.