A couple erecting fences to protect their privacy from chip shop customers have been shot with an air gun in Northumberland after neighbors turned sour.
Christine and Stephen Williams of Alnwick said a man came in front of their home and “pointed a gun at them” on Thursday evening as they were erecting a four-foot-long fence.
The couple said the man started firing a gun while hitting the wall. The local police confirmed the incident and said that a 34-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.
The next day, council workers arrived at Williams’ home and tore down the fence, claiming it was blocking the sidewalk and forcing pedestrians to walk down the street.
Williams’ home was previously a sweet shop, but in 2019 the couple decided to change careers and convert the storefront into their living room.
Ms Williams was angry with the council’s actions in removing the fence, and said mail online that her husband would put it back over the weekend.
“I’m disappointed with how it’s handled. We’ve been emailing the council for six months about what we were going to do but they didn’t respond. They had no right to demolish the fence and my husband Will put it again because we are entitled to mark our border.
She said it wasn’t about people eating chips at her window, but that the couple didn’t want people standing in line outside their window every evening.
He said the dispute escalated on Thursday evening when a man carrying a gun reached his property.
“After we both came back from work, my husband went out to work on the fence and I sat on a chair in front of my dog to keep up with him,” she said.
“Suddenly I saw the man on the other side of the road whose gun was pointing straight at me. I yelled at Stephen who had shot me as I was carried away.
“Then we heard cheers from the chip shop. It was scary. I’m really shaken by the whole thing.”
The couple told the newspaper that relations between them and their neighbors, a popular chip shop, had deteriorated during the pandemic. Due to COVID requirements, he said the chip shop had marked a socially-distancing queue on the sidewalk, passing in front of Williams’ front window.
“My husband went out and washed the marks,” said Ms Williams. “There was no need for it. They could easily queue up the other way that leads directly to the big car park of the chip shop.”
She said that “a fence was put up to mark our boundary which extends from the front of the shop to the sidewalk”.
The couple claims that their property deed proves that the area they closed is theirs and noted that this was acknowledged by Northumberland County Council in 2017, when a broadband company took over their property. Tried to dig the sidewalk in front of him.
He shared a letter on October 19, 2017 mail online That said: “I can confirm that the council will accept no future responsibility or liability for the condition of the pucca area in front of your property that is owned by you”.
Despite the letter, the council believes that legal questions remain around its ownership, and insists that the fence was erected prematurely, especially since it was partly a takeover. Blocks the bye, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.
Counselor Gordon Castle said the issue had been raised with officials at County Hall, but expressed disbelief that Williams had put up the fence, as he said meetings were scheduled to proceed in a proper legal manner.
A spokesman for Northumberland Police confirmed Thursday’s incident, but said there was “no danger to the wider public”.
On Thursday “shortly before 6.50 pm” police received a report of concern for safety following unrest on Victoria Crescent in Alnwick.
“It was reported that there was a dispute between the two sides, during which an aerial weapon was fired at a wall.
“No one was injured, but as a precaution, officers from the force’s Firearms Support Unit (FSU) rushed to the scene.”
A 34-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident and is assisting in the interrogation, the spokesman said.
“There is no danger to the wider public at this time and it is believed that all involved are known to each other,” the spokesman said.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /