Man threatened traffic warden he would 'punch your head in' after row when he parked outside his Hartlepool home

A Hartlepool man hurled a tirade of abuse at a traffic warden after being told to move his car parked outside his home.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 11:08 am

Michael Johnstone, 45, pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour when he appeared before Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Johnstone had lost his temper with the local authority traffic warden outside his York Road home.

Saba Shan, prosecuting, said at 3pm on November 16, Johnstone started hurling abuse at the traffic warden when he heard him asking his wife to move the car.

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The case was heard at Teesside Magistrates' Court.

She said Johnstone started shouting and swearing at the warden saying things such as: “I will knock you out. I will punch your ******* head in.”

Ms Shan said: “The officer stated he was frightened the defendant was going to strike or punch him.”

Andrew Teate, defending said his client pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

He said dad-of-three Johnstone suffers from CMT disease, which is a degenerating muscle-wasting illness leading him needing help to walk, and his eldest son is also disabled and uses a wheelchair.

He said: “His son is a wheelchair user and he feels they have become relatively easy targets for the enforcement agency.”

Mr Teate said Johnstone parks the car at the front of the house because it is easier for his son to get in and out and then they move the vehicle.

However, he added: “The enforcement officers have a tendency to wait on the corner for him to park up and then pounce.

“On this occasion he was unloading his son and getting him into the house. He has then heard them say to his wife ‘move that car now’ and felt it was an order.”

Mr Teate said because of his mental health issues Johnstone has a tendency to ‘explode in a fit of rage when confronted’.

A spokesman for the probation service, said: “He said he was very angry because the victim was speaking loudly and rudely to his partner. But, he admits he went overboard. He accepts his behaviour was out of order.”

Johnstone was placed on an eight-week curfew and ordered to pay £100 in compensation and £85 costs.