AN ELDERLY couple has been fined and slapped with a restraining order after trying to attack their neighbours with a baseball bat in a row over a snowball.
Patricia and Grenville Moore, both 75, launched an assault on the couple next door after the ice was thrown at their window last year.
Mr Moore swung the bat towards Dawn Halliwell and her partner Jade Edwards, who live with their two children, in January last year, Bolton Magistrates Court heard.
Trouble then flared again in May after the kids were playing with wood in the street and Mr Moore objected to the mess they were making.
Mr Moore hurled abuse towards his neighbours before lobbing the pieces of wood onto their path.
In a video shown to the court, Ms Edwards can be heard telling Mr Moore she would clear up the mess when the children finished playing.
She told him: "Shut up and go in. You're embarrassing."
The court heard the Moores have lived in their home in Bolton "for many years", but problems began when their neighbours moved into a rented house next door.
Mr Moore admitted possessing an offensive weapon and using threatening or abusive behaviour.
His wife pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive behaviour.
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Andrew Sinker, prosecuting, said the Moores denied the offences and claimed their neighbours had been acting in an "inappropriate" way when quizzed by police.
Adam Whittaker, defending, stressed the Moores are of previous good character and have never been in trouble with the law before.
He said: "This case could have and should have been resolved in an entirely different way.
"There have been a lot of issues here, caused primarily by the frustration of these two at what they felt was inactivity in relation to public nuisance."
He added that the Moores live in their own "immaculate" home and there were no problems before Ms Edwards moved in 10 years ago and her partner arrived four years later.
Mr Whittaker added: "There were initial problems but over the last couple of years things have become very, very strained.
"This is a man who is less patient than he used to be. This is a man who is less tolerant than he was and possibly should be."
He added that Mr Moore became frustrated because their own CCTV footage showing incidents with their neighbours was automatically deleted as they tried to show police.
Mr Whittaker told the court there had been "antagonism on both sides".
He added: "Numerous correspondence has been sent to the police regarding anti-social behaviour, banging on party walls, loud music, drinking in the front garden and drinking in the street outside.
"You don't get a 75-year-old man of good character behaving like that without provocation."
Mr Whittaker stated that the Moores' home is their "pride and joy" and they had become upset about mess in the neighbouring garden, which was eventually cleared up.
The court heard the catalyst for the Moores' behaviour in January was a snowball thrown at their window and Mr Moore lost his temper.
Mr Whittaker stated that he was pushed over and struggled to get up and Ms Moore shouted because she was angry about what had happened to her husband.
Magistrates were told that there has been no further trouble between the neighbours in the last seven months.
Chairman of the bench, Lindsay Charidemou, told the pensioners: "It is a shame when you have lived in your house for so long and then you have got neighbour disputes."
The Moores were sentenced to a conditional discharge for nine months and must each pay £75 in prosecution costs plus £22 towards running victim services.
A restraining order was made banning them from having any contact with Ms Halliwell or Ms Edwards.
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