Armed man confronted neighbour with baseball bat after dispute

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A man who armed himself with a baseball bat when he confronted a neighbour during a dispute has been ordered to complete 140 hours of unpaid work.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, June 20, how Arran Gouge, 24, of Netherfield Close, Matlock, and a female armed with a baton banged on the door of a neighbour after a car had been tampered with in the street.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “The background is that a resident heard a sound of hissing tyres and saw damage but no one saw who was responsible.

“Gouge went out and spoke to the female and she felt that the complainant in this case was responsible without there being any evidence and they both went to the man’s house.”

The female was shouting and swearing and accused the complainant of letting her boyfriend’s tyres down, according to Mrs Allsop.

The court heard that when the complainant opened the door he was forced to grab the baton off the female.

Gouge told police he had taken the baseball bat as protection against an unfriendly dog at the property involved.

The defendant, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon in a public place without authority after the incident on June 2.

Defence solicitor Julie Page said: “Mr Gouge was extremely co-operative with the police and fully acknowledged he got himself into a foolish and stupid situation.”

Ms Page added that there have been tensions between the complainant and other neighbours.

Gouge had consumed some alcohol that evening, according to Ms Page, which played a part in his behaviour and he had accompanied the female to challenge the complainant.

Ms Page added: “He accepts it was not appropriate for him to behave in that way. He didn’t get involved further and he made his way home and then spent an uncomfortable night in the cells and he apologised and said he will make sure he does not get involved in anything like this again.”

Magistrates sentenced Gouge to a 12 month community order with 140 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.