A LONGRIDGE couple were subjected to five years of harassment by their next door neighbour, including having dead animals thrown into their garden.

Blackburn magistrates heard 80-year-old William Seed had driven his neighbours to their ‘wits’ end’ with his “soul destroying” behaviour.

But he claimed there had been provocation from them and denied some of the allegations.

Seed, of Higher Road, Longridge, admitted harassing William and Carolyn Maxwell.

The case was adjourned for a hearing where wit-nesses will give evidence to establish facts.

Catherine Allan, prose-cuting, said the dispute started over a garden fence.

Mr Maxwell built a fence after Seed complained that decking he had installed impinged on his privacy.

Seed told Mr Maxwell he was not bothered how high the fence was but later complained to the council and Mr Maxwell had to reduce the height.

Miss Allan said there had been problems since then, despite police issuing Seed with a harassment warning.

She said Seed sounded his car horn periodically from early in the morning until late at night.

He would make loud bird noises and howl like a dog and throw dead animals into their garden.

Miss Allan said dead rats and rabbits, chickens’ feet and a mallard’s head were among items thrown.

“He comes up to the rear gate, phlegms up and spits, especially when they have guests,” said Miss Allan.

“His behaviour has caused Mr Maxwell and his family extreme anxiety and stress, to the extent that they are considering selling their house.”

Miss Allan said things had got so bad the Maxwells parked their cars down the road to make it appear they were not at home.

“As soon as he knows they are at home the behaviour starts,” said Miss Allan.

“This has been a five year campaign against them which was totally unprovoked.”

Kerry Grieve, defending, said: “A lot of what has been said is disputed by my client.

“He accepts he has used abusive lang-uage but that has been because he was provoked.”