Robert Brown also reported the youngsters to police and was delighted when officers came round to speak to him. He assumed it was to take details of his plight...His plight being local children who were climbing on his garden fence to throw stones at his windows, forcing him to buy anti-climb paint of the type you see everywhere these days.
A sensible measure, because the police can't be everywhere, they are too busy with low-level crime. Or so they always tell us.
...and was shocked to learn he was being prosecuted for criminal damage because the children had got the paint over their clothes.
Their mother alleged that almost £4,000 worth of furniture and carpets had been ruined by the youngsters treading the paint, which does not dry and leaves surfaces slippery, into her house.To which you'd expect a policeman's response to be 'Then let this be a lesson to you to ensure your children don't abuse the neighbours, madam!"
10 years ago, it would have been.
But don't worry, even if the police are emasculated tick-box automatons, the justice system will act as the brake on this, as it should do, and...
Retired security guard Mr Brown, 76, was hauled to court three times and threatened with a criminal record in a nine-month ordeal as he fought the case which cost around £10,000 of taxpayers' cash.
It was dropped on the day it was due to go to trial last month.Presumably someone at the CPS woke up and realised how this was likely to play.
Police visited him after their mother, Judith Ripley-Aitchison, 44, complained that her children had traipsed through her home covered in the paint, causing £3,750 worth of damage.
She denied Mr Brown had warned the youngsters about the paint or that they had climbed on to the roof and fence to get it on their clothes, saying it had 'dripped on to them'.
Mr Brown was charged with criminal damage and asked to go to Leigh police station to accept a caution, but refused.Good for him! That £10,000 should come out of the personal pockets of the cops & prosecutors who pursued this, mind you.
Last night unemployed Mrs Ripley-Aitchison, a single mother-of-six, denied her children made Mr Brown's life a misery.
'I had four children running inside covered, it [the paint] went on the carpets, on curtains, everywhere,' said Mrs Ripley-Aitchison, whose children are educated at home.Mrs Ripley-Doublebarrel is a council house tenant. Perhaps we can now all see why the lack of social housing might be an advertising hook, despite the progressives' anguished wailing?
'They thought they had found some kind of black mud, they were playing with it. 'The kids may have thrown a ball and a hula hoop over once, but kids are kids. He [Mr Brown] is the type who would complain if a bird pooed in his garden.'But what of the police, who started this whole sorry process off. Are they suitably chastened?
Sergeant Dave Clarke, of Greater Manchester police, said the case was part of a 'much bigger' neighbour issue and they had a duty to investigate Mrs Ripley-Aitchison's complaint. 'We attempted to resolve the issue by a police caution. As this was refused, he was issued with a summons authorised by the CPS.''Nuffink to do wiv us, right? It's not our fault, we was just doin' as we were told, if 'e adn't resisted, 'e wouldn't 'ave got 'urt!'
You cretin, Clarke. That's what the other side of the custody desk is supposed to say!