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A PENSIONER accused of attacking his neighbour with a leaf blower has walked free from court.

Peter Smythe, 74, was charged after an alleged disagreement with his neighbour after a dispute over a boundary ditch which both men claim to own.

A trial at Chelmsford Crown Court had heard alleged victim Nigel Clark suffered a fractured nose and eye socket as a result of the fracas, which was said to have taken place outside their village homes.

Mr Smythe, of Tudwick Hall Road, in Tolleshunt D’Arcy, had denied causing grievous bodily harm to the 63-year-old company director.

Yesterday, the former building site manager was found not guilty after a trial.

Judge Emma Peters heard the pair had come to blows on July 4 last year.

Mr Smythe told the court Mr Clark had been aggressive to him and then punched him to the ground.

The men were then said to have grappled on the ground and Mr Clark struck his head on the tarmac road.

Mr Smythe said Mr Clark’s injuries were caused then rather than from any attack using a leaf blower.

He said: “I have never hit him with the leaf blower or my fists.

“What happened was when we were rolling round on the floor.

“I never hit Mr Clark.”

He added: “He thinks he is better than me - that is the attitude this man has towards everybody.

“He just gives the impression he is better than you.”

William Martin, prosecuting, had alleged Mr Clark had been struck across the face by the machine as he turned back towards Mr Smythe.

The jury were shown photographs of injuries to both men’s faces.

Chelmsford Crown Court was told the dispute broke out because Mr Smythe was unhappy about work carried out on the “shared” ditch between his and Mr Clark’s homes.

The court heard Mr Clark moved to Tolleshunt D’Arcy in 2014, having at one stage been close to buying Mr Smythe’s house . But the sale later fell through.

The pair met on three occasions when they were negotiating the deal.

Although the sale fell through, Smythe - who worked in construction before his retirement - was left with a negative impression of Mr Clark.