Rowing neighbours armed themselves with machete and meat cleaver

Karl Dryden.
Karl Dryden.

Two warring neighbours armed themselves with a meat cleaver and a machete after one accused the other of looking through his window.

Karl Dryden and Geoffrey Colledge became embroiled in a long-running dispute while they lived near each other, a court heard.

“It seems Mr Colledge walked past Mr Dryden’s house, who saw him looking out of his window,” Liam O’Brien, prosecuting, told Durham Crown Court.

“Mr Colledge picked up a machete from his garden and returned to Mr Dryden’s house, who emerged carrying a meat cleaver.

“There was a fracas in the street, although neither man appears to have been seriously injured.

“It was about 4.30pm, and the incident was witnessed by adults and children who would have found it distressing.”

It happened in South Hetton, and Dryden, 43, formerly of Derwent Terrace, South Hetton, now of Station Road, Easington Colliery, admitted affray and possessing an offensive weapon on May 17 last year.

Colledge, 36, of Keswick Terrace, South Hetton, admitted the same two offences. The court heard Dryden has previous convictions for violent disorder, affray, resisting arrest, and is nearing the end of a one-year sentence for burglary.

Colledge has no previous convictions, but has two reprimands.

Judge Simon Hickey jailed Dryden for 16 months. Colledge was given a 10-month sentence, suspended for one year, and ordered to do 150 hours of community work.

He said: “This was disgraceful behaviour in the street at a time when members of the public and children were there to see it.”