May 1, 2014

A man claimed his next door neighbour threatened to kill him and then attacked him in a row over a garden wall.

Letterkenny court.

Letterkenny court.

Frank McManus claimed that John Ferry manhandled and assaulted him during an incident between the neighbours from Letterkenny.

Mr McManus, from Fernhill, claimed the assault was the final straw in a long-running series of incidents between the two men after he had made renovations to his home.

Mr McManus said that when he retired after working with Donegal County Council for more than 40 years, he decided to do some renovations to his home.

They included a new porch and a dividing wall in his back garden.

But he claimed that when he told Mr Ferry of his plans, he got a hostile reaction and trouble began to brew between the pair.

A series of incidents continued before he claimed he was assaulted by Mr Ferry on February 21st last year.

He also claimed that Mr ferry had threatened to kill him on another occasion.

“I was walking up and down the wall in the back garden and he was calling me a cock-eyed F**** and inviting me to come on,” claimed Mr McManus.

He claimed Mr Ferry then tried to hit him and after missing him twice eventually struck him.

He phoned an ambulance and was treated for his injuries which included a red mark to his face and arms.

Letterkenny District Court was shown a video of Mr McManus allegedly abusing his neighbour – a video which was taken on behalf of the accused Mr Ferry

Mr McManus can be heard on the video saying to Mr Ferry “Go and die. Die naturally before I sort you.”

Garda Corinne Finn told the court that she called to Mr Ferry’s home but he would not allow her in claiming it was too late.

He later told the court that the Gardai regularly called to his home, the latest incident being three weeks ago, to follow up on claims being made by Mr McManus.

Mr Ferry gave evidence that his family including his ten year old daughter has been verbally abused by Mr McManus.

Mr Ferry claimed the pair had been friendly and that he had done odd jobs for him around his house.

However he admitted that things became frayed after he realised that Mr McManus’ son had been jailed in Northern Ireland for dissident terrorist activity.

Another DVD filmed on behalf of the accused was also produced in court by solicitor Fiona Brown was produced in court but not shown.

John Ferry told the court that he was potting plants on the day of the alleged assault.

“He told me to get back from the wall and I told him it was a parting wall. He followed me with a raised fist.

“He leaned across the wall and tried to grab me and I told him to keep his hands to himself.

“I went to go down the slope and as I did he reached out his left hand and caught me by the shoulder and grabbed me by the collar.

“I feared I was going to be punched and I got my hand under his arms and I managed to free myself.

“His hand hit off the side of his hand and then he laughed at me. He said “I’ll get you this time you bas***”.

“He went into his house and came back out and repeated it again. I returned to the kitchen of my house and I was quite shaken,” said Mr Ferry.

After hearing the evidence Judge Denis McLaughlin said he was dismissing the assault charge.

He said the video footage had put a very different perception on the case.

He directed a comment to Mr McManus saying “He point blankly denied being abusive or denied shaking a fist at Mr Ferry – but several times he was more than verbally abusive to Mr Ferry.

“It’s a terrible state of affairs. If neighbours are not getting on, they should just ignore eachother. Mr McManus is going out of his way to annoy Mr Ferry.”