A nightmare neighbour nicknamed ‘Michael the Moron’ exasperated residents of a quiet cul-de-sac by using three leaf blowers at once and repeatedly whistling a Rolf Harris song, a court heard.
Michael Hall, 67, ran a ‘calculated’ campaign of noise on the street in Handforth, Cheshire, making it impossible for anyone to ‘get any peace and quiet’, magistrates were told.
When it was raining he would put a plastic bag over his radio so he could keep blasting it from his garden from 7am to 8pm every day, according to frustrated neighbours.
They say he used three leaf blowers at the same time ‘for hours’, even when there were no leaves on the ground, and that he whistled paedophile Rolf Harris’s 1969 hit ‘Two Little Boys’ through his hedge for everyone to hear.
Neighbours said Hall’s unruly behaviour towards them over the past 20 years had been so draining that one had sold his property for a reduced price to get away.
Now the retired panel beater faces prison, after being found guilty of harassment and breaching a restraining order demanding he keep quiet.
Previously Hall, who lives with his 73-year old wife Pamela, had enraged residents by routinely waking them up as early as 4am, either by starting his noisy camper van or by switching on his chainsaw and angle grinder for some gardening or DIY.
He also erected a battery of CCTV surveillance cameras above a wrought iron gate at his £250,000 property so he could film neighbours coming and going in the street outside.
Hall was arrested due to his continued disruption and was found guilty at Stockport Magistrates Court Hall after two of his long suffering neighbours testified against him.
One of them was dad-of-two Timothy Royle, 54, who said: ‘I call him “Michael The Moron” – a nickname I created for my young children as otherwise it would be a lot worse.
‘Michael and I do not speak as there is a lot of conflict from him towards me and all the other neighbours and this has been going on for 15-20 years.’
The managing director moved to Thornton Drive in 2016 and said his home was ‘hugely undervalued’ on the market due to the previous owner having issues with the defendant.
He thought he could win him over, but said Hall started to ‘intimidate’ him, as he had done with previous neighbours.
Mr Royle added: ‘There are so many instances I had to start logging it. This has been going on for five years and has upset me greatly but there seems to be very little I can do about it.
‘It is a game to him and he does nothing but annoy the neighbours. I have even been assigned my own personal police officer because the complaints are that frequent.
‘It has affected my relationship with my partner, she had to move out for six months.
‘What he does is all calculated and there is no reason for it. It is thuggery, nothing else.’
The most recent complaints were over incidents between May and July last year – 18 months into a two year restraining order which, among other things, banned Hall from using power tools or gardening equipment during unsocial hours.
Another neighbour Peter Dean said: ‘I have lived at my address for 15 years and have spoken to Michael Hall just once in four years as I don’t want any earache of any description.
‘It is those three leaf blowers going at the same time. Sometimes, he would have one in his hand and he would leave the other two still going.
Hall, who denied wrongdoing, claimed he ‘only’ had two leaf blowers on at the same time.
The defendant added: ‘My wife can lose her balance on a pebble and I use the leaf blower to move the pebbles out of the way so my wife will not stumble on them.’
He said that there was ‘a lot of debris’ in the garden due to gales last May and that he needed to use the leaf blower for this.
Hall claimed he used his blower ‘roughly at 8.45am’, denied ever whistling and said the radio was coming from the building next to him.
He added: ‘I would never breach my order. Flipping heck, I was aware of what would happen if I was convicted again.’
But magistrates found Hall guilty, calling his account ‘inconsistent and not credible’. He was granted conditional bail pending sentencing in May.
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