63yearold slashes swimming pool in neighbour dispute over childrens noise and laughter

A photograph showing the damage to the side of Jason Little’s poolCredit:DorsetPolice/BNPS She said that the CCTV footage appeared to show Mr Gee carrying something heavy in his right hand as he approached the pool. In an apparent attempt to cover his tracks he then left a note in the Little’s porch, explaining how he had woken in the night to the sound of flowing water and found their garden flooded Mr Gee, who worked in the aviation industry for 25 years, pleaded not guilty to criminal damage, claiming that he had been woken up by his dog barking and had gone out to investigate when he noticed his garden was flooded.He claimed the pool was dilapidated and suggested it emptied after an old tear finally split.Finding Mr Gee guilty, district judge Stephen Nicholls said his evidence lacked consistency and logic.He said: “His account is not credible or believable and I am satisfied he entered the land and caused damage to the pool, causing water to escape.”Mr Gee, who has no previous convictions, was fined £500 and ordered to pay £650 prosecution costs and £250 compensation to Mr Little.Judge Nicholls also issued a restraining order banning Mr Gee from contacting the Littles for five years and from going onto the curtilage of their property.Speaking after the case Mr Little said: “He threatened my children and tried to tell them they were not allowed to use their own garden and said many times they were going to force us to leave. I’m just relieved the judge gave him a restraining order and he won’t be able to make nasty comments to my family anymore.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A photograph showing the damage to the side of Jason Little's pool Disputes between neighbours over noise are not uncommon, but a rift in one Dorset village was so bitter it culminated in a man sabotaging a children’s swimming pool after growing fed up with the excited cries and laughter coming over the garden fence.Stephen Gee, 63, crept into his neighbour’s garden and cut a hole in the metal wall of the pool, causing 4,000 litres of water to gush out.The retired engineer was only caught because his neighbour, a decorated army officer, had installed a covert camera in the garden, capturing Mr Gee’s night-time raid.Jason Little, who won the Military Cross for displaying inspirational leadership in battle in Afghanistan in 2008, returned home after a few days away with his wife Avril to find their pool empty and their garden flooded.A court heard yesterday that when Mr Little reviewed the video from his hidden CCTV camera, he saw his hooded neighbour tiptoeing up his garden path at 4.30am, past his herbaceous border and towards his pool.Mr Gee, a retired engineer, was seen disappearing behind the 10 metre long pool for 16 seconds before re-emerging and sneaking back to his house. Stephen Gee outside Poole Magistrates, Dorset Stephen Gee outside Poole Magistrates, DorsetCredit:LeeMcLean/BNPS Poole Magistrates Court heard how the attack in June 2016 was the culmination of a four year dispute between the two neighbours over the noise made when the Little’s two daughters, then aged eight and 10, used the pool.Although the oval swimming pool was already in place when Mr Little and his wife moved into their  large detached house in the village of Puxey in 2012 Mr Gee quickly took offence at their children using it.Mr Little, 46, told the court: “Whenever they used the swimming pool, they shouted over the fence at them and would play loud music and stare at them. Before we had CCTV things happened to the swimming pool that I couldn’t explain, so we had cameras installed to the rear of the property.”He said his children had not yet used the pool that summer, but that he had carried out maintenance so they could do so and that when he checked the pool before he left for the weekend the water level was full and there was no leak.PC Charlotte Goddard told the court that the wall of the pool looked as if it had been hit with something heavy and the cut was wider at one end, suggesting it had been struck with an axe blade or similar. read more