New Houghton man alleged to have threatened to firebomb house after row with neighbour

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A NEW Houghton man allegedly threatened to kill a neighbour’s family and bomb their house, a court heard.

Nathan Foyster was at home with his partner, Hayley Smith, and four children on 18th January when neighbour Wayne Ray called round.

He put his face close to Mr Foyster’s, saying: “I’m going to sort this out.” He then allegedly threatened: “I’m going to knife you and your kids.”

Mr Foyster told him to go home but Ray (48) was alleged to have said: “You’re all going to die” and stopped Mr Foyster closing the door.

“The defendant said: ‘I’m going to bomb your house and get Hells Angels friends to do you’. The complainant closed the door and the defendant then laughed and went home.

“Hayley Smith felt really shaken and her young children were upset by what they could hear,” prosecutor Helen Griffiths told Chesterfield magistrates.

Mr Foyster stated that they had had “a lot of bother” from Ray in the three years they had known him and he had been reported to the council for regularly playing music until 2am.

Ray told police he shouted and swore at the couple but made no threats. He claimed Ms Smith threatened to get “gipsy friends” to torch his house.

“He said he was only having a go at them because of the noise coming from their house. He said they were often shouting at their children and each other and it was a nuisance,” said Mrs Griffiths.

She added that Ray denied threatening to kill Mr Foyster and his family and said he had had “nothing but bother” from the neighbouring couple.

Ray, of Devonshire Street, New Houghton, admitted using threatening behaviour but he disputed the prosecution version of events.

“He went round to remonstrate with the complainant about the noise and there was an argument,” said Matt Evans, for Ray.

He said Ray accepted threatening to stab Mr Foyster but denied making any threats towards his family.

The justices adjourned the case for a mini-trial to decide what exactly happened during the incident, saying their findings could affect the sentence Ray ultimately received.

The court heard that Ray had previous convictions for assault on police and disorder and had been jailed in the past.