A man formerly known as the ‘neighbour from hell’ has appeared in court accused of destroying his neighbour’s plants with chlorine.
Ether Brady appeared at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court on video link from his police arrest.
A 49-year-old man was charged with three counts of breach of restraint and two charges of damaging plants and flowers on July 23 of this year.
Brady, of Bridge Street, Lurgan, confirmed he understood the charges but the officer gave evidence that his address was “not suitable because the injured party lives there”.
He told the court the offenses took place last Saturday when Brady was seen “pouring bleach over a neighbour’s plants” at around 9pm.
The officer said that in doing so, Brady also violated his restraining order and added that when he was arrested, the defendant “made a full admission” to the crimes.
“It’s definitely something bigger than that,” District Judge Rosie Watters said.
Brady’s lawyer confirmed there was an ongoing dispute between neighbors with “stories about him in the Sunday World”, handing over copies for the judge to view.
A prosecuting attorney said prosecutors and police are concerned that if Brady pleads guilty today, “he could go back to the address and there’s nothing to stop it from happening again.”
He revealed that Brady has prior convictions for victimization, including harassment.
The barrister claimed the latest incident came after neighbors filmed Brady holding a ladder for a man at a nearby church, threatening “we’re going to report you to the DLA”, adding that Brady himself had “been to the police numerous times” .
“They were after him for months and years, and he just snapped,” the lawyer said.
Although the PPS lawyer suggested that “as with most neighborly disputes, nobody comes with clean hands”, District Judge Watters told him “that’s not true, sometimes you just have neighbors from hell”.
The lawyer said Brady no longer wanted to live in Bridge Street, where his flat had been adapted to deal with his mobility problems, but “he doesn’t have the points to run”, lamenting that despite the ongoing dispute , “it doesn’t get him any extra points.”
“I think he should be living somewhere else,” said the judge, who released Brady on £500 bail, but on the condition that he live at a police-approved address, have no contact with the victim or enter Bridge Street unaccompanied.
The hearing of the case was postponed to August 5.