A grandfather has been cleared of throwing sausages laced with rat poison in to a neighbour’s garden after a long running dispute over her dogs’ barking.
Ian Richardson, 51, said it was a “massive relief” when magistrates at Wakefield found him not guilty yesterday after a trial. Mr Richardson of Ossett, Wakefield, had suffered 18 months of noise from the four dogs barking in Andrea McQuade’s garden. He complained to Wakefield and District Housing and environmental health officers.
Mr Richardson said he spoke to Mrs McQuade about the problem and she replied that dogs bark and he should ‘get over it’.
Giving evidence, Mrs McQuade’s daughter Amy McQuade said in the early hours of January 12 she was in bed at the family’s home in Hillcrest Avenue when she heard a taxi pull up. Miss McQuade said she heard Mr Richardson say ‘I will shut that rat up’. She said she saw Mr Richardson throw something in to the garden. Miss McQuade said she went into the garden and found four sausages, which were examined and found to be laced with poision. Miss McQuade’s boyfriend Alex Hayton said he also saw Mr Richardson throw the sausages in to the garden.
Mr Richardson, now of Taylor Drive, Ossett, denied the offence. Bench chairman Howard Tate said: “After considering evidence given by Amy McQuade and Alex Hayton, we do not accept their account of events. We accept Mr Richardson’s account of that evening.”