Pensioner pleads guilty to simulating sex with his walking stick in homophobic row

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A nightmare neighbour has been found guilty of simulating sex with his walking stick.

It was part of a number of incidents, including homophobic insults, death threats and exchanging pictures of a dead fox.

Pensioner Nicholas Ridge had reigned terror on his neighbours in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the court heard.

The 65-year-old pensioner pleaded guilty to harassment, sending an indecent communication, racially-aggravated harassment, an offence of harassment putting another in fear of violence and two charges of possession of an offensive weapon in public.

One of the victims, Andrew Burton, lived in the same flat complex as Ridge and was subjected to a campaign of harassment.

Alex Bozman, prosecuting, said: “He received unwanted emails and a number of items were left on display in the communal hallway which had offensive comments written on them and were homophobic in nature.

“The defendant banged on his door and simulated sex in the presence of Mr Burton with his walking stick.”

He also racially targeted a Lithuanian neighbour with his abuse, the court heard.

He sent her emails and texts making reference to her ethnicity, one message stating: “You must have a sense of humour to believe that a top chap like me would be interested in a Lithuanian factory worker.”

In another incident, he threatened to kill a friend for not returning a lighter – which he had lent him 15 years ago.

He subsequently sent a photo of a dead fox to the man.

Emily Price, mitigating, said that the pensioner was recently diagnosed with cancer and his girlfriend of 41 years had recently passed away.

She said: “At the time he felt he was feeling that he wasn’t going to put up with difficulties from other people.

“He stood up for himself and confronted those when he felt he’d been wronged although he accepts his behaviour wasn’t correct.”

Magistrates sentenced Ridge to two months in prison, suspended for 18 months, meaning he will be spared jail if he doesn’t repeat offend for 18 months.

They made an indefinite restraining order banning him from contacting each of the four victims.

Ridge also has to pay £100 compensation to each of them and the weapons will be forfeited and destroyed.

Another man was previously found guilty of harassing transgender comic Eddie Izzard.