Fine ‘unjust’ after neighbour death

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A Blackpool man has called his treatment ‘unfair and unjust’ after a neighbour dropped dead following a row about car fumes.

Nigel Jones, 51, of Queen Street, Blackpool, tried desperately to revive neighbour John Davies but he was pronounced dead after suffering a heart attack in July.

Mr Jones said the pair had rowed after Mr Davies charged his car overnight from a communal electricity supply at flats and then filled the area with exhaust fumes.

But moments later, Mr Davies collapsed, with the row reported to police and Mr Jones fined for racially aggravated threatening behaviour at Blackpool magistrates’ court on Thursday.

He admitted the pair had rowed and pleaded guilty to the offence, but said he was not the only person to complain about the fumes.

He added: “I was decorating the bedroom when a neighbour told me about John revving up the car engine.

“People’s washing was on the line and there were people on the other side sunbathing.

“I said to him ‘is there any need to keep revving the car?’

“We had words – he swore at me.”

The court was told Mr Jones said: “I’ll kill you – get out of that car,” before swearing at Mr Davies, referring to his religion.

But minutes later, Mr Jones found his neighbour slumped in his car, “white as a sheet.”

Mr Jones called 999 and was asked to help paramedics with chest compressions, but Mr Davies died at the scene.

Chrissie Hunt, prosecuting, said: “There was a full investigation into his death which showed he had suffered from a heart defect.”

Despite his attempts to save Mr Davies’ life, neighbours reported the row to police.

Mr Jones was fined £110 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £20 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

He added: “I think it was unfair. OK I shouted at him but did not know he would die 10 minutes later. All of the other neighbours were having a pop. I thought it was grossly unfair.

“He was a nice enough fella. I thought it unfair I should be dragged to court for telling him off. I think it is all a bit unjust – it was all in a fit of temper. I am not racist, I have black friends. I was not the only one to argue with him, other neighbours did too.”

Gary McAnulty, defending, told magistrates his client, who was gay, said Mr Davies made homophobic remarks to him during the argument. The neighbour was Jewish and when Jones made the comment to him he did not realise it was racist.

Mr McAnulty added: “He does apologise, but says there was provocation because of the homophobic remarks.

“Jones tried to resuscitate him and helped the ambulance crew.”