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Neighbour accused of harassment: 'I'm happy-go-lucky guy'

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

By nino williams

  • Michael Matthews

  • Linda Davies

A MAN accused of harassing his neighbour has told a court: "I am a happy-go-lucky type of guy — and I like to make other people happy".

Michael Matthews appeared before Swansea Crown Court to give evidence after denying a charge that he used intimidating words or behaviour prohibited by magistrates.

The breaches are alleged to have taken place between May 3 and June 26 this year at Clos Crucywel, Cwmrhydyceirw.

The charges related to his neighbour Linda Davies, who told the court on Thursday that Matthews would growl, make noises, play loud music, slam doors and stamp up and down stairs, as well as sing songs with the words changed, sometimes with obscenities, in order to harass or intimidate her.

The allegations followed a restraining order granted by magistrates in 2009, after Ms Davies had complained about his behaviour. Matthews had pleaded guilty on that occasion, and to later breaches of the order.

Yesterday the 57-year-old took the stand to give evidence.

He denied having changed the words of an Elton John song, inserting an obscenity, which Ms Davies alleged he had done so following the court appearance for his breach of the order.

He said: "I am not a swearing type of person. I never have been".

Police had installed CCTV and a microphone into Ms Davies's property, and footage from it was shown to the court.

In it, Matthews was heard to say words which it had been alleged he would regularly repeat when she was in her garden 'to wind her up', such as 'wow', 'yeah', and 'rinky dinky do'.

He explained to the court: "I am trying to give music an incentive in between tracks, you can enhance that music by certain gestures."

He said the phrase 'rinky dinky do' was a line sung by Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant.

The court was also shown footage of a tree and fence at the bottom of his garden shaking while Ms Davies sat next to it.

The court also heard he had pleaded guilty to the harassment charges at earlier court appearances, even though he denied being guilty.

Matthews said he had done so on the advice of his solicitors, but when asked why he returned to use the same company each time, he said: "I was of the opinion they would have a better insight."

The jury is due to retire on Monday to consider their verdict.

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