Ely Man Threatened To Torch Neighbour’s Home

TWO people were threatened with being burned in their beds and having their home torched by travellers when they complained to drunken Stephen Neal about his filthy language.

Neal had been creating a disturbance and shouting abuse in New Barns Avenue at Ely, within earshot of a family barbecue taking place nearby.

When barbecue attendees Helen Middleton and Philip Feather decided to speak to Neal, they were bombarded with abuse and threats, Ely magistrates were told on Thursday.

Neal told them: “How would you like it when I get the Chatteris travellers or pikeys to pour petrol through your letter box and burn you while you are sleeping, and burn your house down,” said prosecutor Laura Mardell.

She said Neal accused them of being a grass and members of Neighbourhood Watch, and continued to shout and swear. Philip Feather had feared for his personal safety, and Helen Middleton had been upset and angry after the two-hour incident, added Miss Mardell.

Solicitor Michael Judkins said Neal was “hugely apologetic” about what happened, and drink had played a major part.

“On this day he went to the house where his ex-girlfriend lived and she answered the door,” he said. “Another girl came outside and was not so friendly, and it all developed from there.”

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Mr Judkins added: “He started swearing and was asked to stop, and that made him swear more, and he made the comment about the gypsies. It was not something he could have arranged to happen.”

Unemployed Neal, of High Barns, Ely, admitted a charge of using threatening behaviour. He was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and pay �50 costs.