Hemel Hempstead man who claimed to be ‘virtually housebound’ forced his way into neighbour’s home and assaulted him

Library image.
Library image.

A pensioner who portrayed himself as virtually housebound has been convicted of kicking down his neighbour’s door and assaulting him in a drunken attack.

Police discovered a foot print on David Slater’s front door and the lock broken when they were called to his Bennetts End home after Peter Keen, who was in the dock on Friday, dialled 999 claiming he was the one who had been attacked on January 4 this year.

But Judge Matson, sitting at St Albans Magistrates Court, told Keen: “It is not in dispute that there was an incident that did take place that day between you and Mr Slater.

“I have to say that I did find Mr Slater’s evidence very credible and I did find his evidence very convincing.

“I have also listened very carefully to what you have said.

“I did not find your evidence credible.

“I accept Mr Slater’s evidence and that of the PC and I find that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.”

Mr Keen, of Six Acres, Hemel Hempstead, who recently had his two televisions and stereo system confiscated by council officials as part of a separate noise complaint involving a different neighbour, was convicted of using violence to secure entry and assault for which he was fined a total of £200. He must also pay Mr Slater £60 in compensation, £400 towards court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

The 64 year old, who lives off a pension and disability allowance, offered to pay £10 a week toward the bill but, after enquiring whether Mr Keen smokes to which he replied yes, Judge Matson ordered him to pay £15 a week.

She told Mr Keen: “I’m not going to make a restraining order as this was clearly a one off but clearly you should stay away from Mr Slater because nobody wants any incidents of this nature in the future.”

Speaking after the case, neighbour of four years Mr Slater who had previously been friends with Mr Keen, said: “I’m pleased with the outcome but saddened by the whole situation. I don’t wish ill of him at all.”