A pensioner's 'obsession' with litter problems in his South Yorkshire village culminated in him attacking an 80-year-old man he believed had been dropping rubbish, a court heard.
In the moments before the attack just after 4pm on December 29, Roger Goodman's victim had parked up on a bridge just outside Micklebring to watch the gritting lorries travelling on the motorway below.
Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said: "He said he had been there for about 10 minutes, watching the lorries, when all of a sudden he saw the defendant, a man he knew only as Goodman."
The court was told how Goodman, of Greaves Sike Lane, Micklebring, Rotherham walked up to the complainant's car, opened the driver-side door before an altercation broke out between the two pensioners.
This resulted in Goodman, 67, punching the complainant four or five times, elbowing him and reaching for his walking stick that he later used to damage his car.
Ms Gallagher described how the complainant had 'feared for his life' during the attack, and sounded his horn while it was taking place to call for help.
Following the incident, Goodman got back into his car and drove away.
The complainant was left with swelling and bruising to his face and fingers, with a grazed arm and a bloodshot eye following the attack.
He told police that he and his family had been having problems with Goodman for the past two years, who had accused him of littering outside his house and had even come to his property and confronted his daughter and his son-in-law.
Ms Gallagher told the court that when Goodman was arrested over the incident in February of this year he denied any involvement but went into some detail about the complainant's 'history of littering problems'.
Goodman continued to dispute his attack on the 80-year-old even when police showed him CCTV footage of the incident.
"He said he opened the door to see if the complainant had any newspapers he was going to discard. He said the complainant beeped his horn in response," said Ms Gallagher.
Goodman pleaded guilty to one count of actual bodily harm and another of damaging property to a value of less than £5,000.
Defending, Stephanie Hollis, told the court that Goodman had previously led a 'blameless life' and was very well thought of in his community.
She said: "He [Goodman] has clearly allowed his passion for assisting with the community, and his frustration with the complainant and problems with littering problems for some years, to get the better of him.
Ms Hollis added that Goodman acknowledged he had taken his 'obsession' with trying to tackle community littering problems 'too far'.
Recorder Graeme Cook sentenced Goodman to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, ordered him to pay £1,500 in compensation and made him the subject of a restraining order which prevents him from contacting the complainant.
He said: "You are 67-years-old, and he is 80, you should know better."