A dispute between neighbours in a quiet residential street led to two men brawling in public and exchanging bites and punches, a court has heard.
The long-running disagreement boiled over after claims one of the neighbours had been “chopsing” to the son of the other and then eggs being thrown at a car.
Daniel Meades and Adam Jones ended up fighting in a lane behind their homes and both earned a rebuke from a judge who told them they need to grow up.
Swansea Crown Court heard defendant Meades and Mr Jones are neighbours in a street in Dyffryn Cellwen at the top of the Dulais Valley.
Robin Rouch, prosecuting, said the men have lived next to each other since 2018 and were engaged in “a long-running dispute” involving an extension the defendant was building and the removal of the boundary fence between the properties.
He said on February 21 this year Mr Jones and his partner became involved in an argument with the defendant’s son and the following day found their car had been egged.
A short time later Meades accused his neighbour of “chopsing” to his son and said he was going to kill him. With that the two men began to fight in the lane which runs at the rear of their properties, exchanging blows and bites as they grappled. The court heard that at one stage Meades “dump tackled” his neighbour to the ground. The barrister said the pair continued to fight even as the police were being called and added it was clear from the 999 call that Mr Jones was an “active participant” in the brawl.
Eventually the disturbance broke up, and Mr Jones was taken to hospital suffering with a “significant head injury” and bite marks to the arms. The court heard it is not clear how the head wound was caused but it may have been when he was taken to the floor and came into contact with building rubble in the lane. Mr Jones had two gashes – one 10cm in length and one 4cm – stapled shut by medics and was given tetanus and hepatitis jabs and a course of antibiotics.
Meanwhile 35-year-old Meades was arrested and taken to Swansea Central police station and he too was found to have bite marks on his arms. In his interview he accused Mr Jones of being abusive towards his son and said he had taken the day off work in order to confront him. He said the dispute between the parties had been going on for a long time and he said he had had “a guts-full” of his neighbour. Meades, of Moorlands, Dyffryn Cellwen, Dulais Valley, Neath, admitted affray.
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David Singh, for Meades, said whichever party had been in the right about the land dispute it was accepted matters had got “out of hand”. He said his client’s long-term aim was to renovate and sell the house but in the meantime he would have to return to live next to Mr Jones and it may be that the Probation Service would be able to equip him with the skills necessary to avoid any repetition of the events seen in February this year.
Judge Paul Thomas QC said both Meades and Mr Jones were adults and it was about time they began acting as such. He said given the nature of the charge – a public order offence rather than an assault – Mr Jones had been lucky not to find himself in the dock alongside his neighbour and he suggested both men needed to take a long hard look at themselves and their conduct.
The judge told Meades he should be ashamed of himself for his “disgraceful show of violence” which included carrying out a “dump tackle” on Mr Jones.
Giving the defendant a 25% discount for his guilty plea the judge sentenced him to six months in prison suspended for 12 months, fined him £1,000, and ordered him to complete a rehabilitation course. Meades was also made the subject of a three-year restraining order banning him from contacting his neighbour or posting anything about him online.
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