Asbo pensioner who terrorised neighbours walks free


A crooning ASBO pensioner who terrorised neighbours living in an idyllic village for more than 15 years and sang songs like the Tom Jones’ classic ‘Delilah’ and walked free from court today.

Richard Dawe, 76, breached a previous ASBO after he sang ‘Oh What A Beautiful Morning’ and ‘Everything’s Going My Way’ outside their homes on October 12, 2008.

Later the same day he shouted ”look out, the don’s about” and on December 19 he called neighbour Janet Schooling a ”split arse”.

Dawe admitted three breaches of an ASBO imposed in 2005 and was today  sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for two years at Worcester Crown Court.

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Sentencing Dawe, Judge John Cavell told him: ”Yet again you’re before the court for breaching an ASBO.

”At the last hearing it was indicated to me that the witnesses despite everything they have had to put up from you still do not want to see you sent into custody.

”You’re somebody who continues not to other people’s points of view despite the number of court appearances and you continue to blame everybody else but yourself.

”The rigidity of your views is such that the probation service has had to give up on you.

”The last thing that the court wants to do is send a man of 76 into custody for however short a time.”

The court heard that Dawe had lived at his bungalow in the idyllic village of Castlemorton, near Malvern, Worcestershire, with wife Joy, 78, since 1969.

But problems started when James and Shirley Schooling and their daughter Janet moved into a cottage up a gravel track 600ft from Dawe’s home in the mid-90s.

Melvin Snookes, 69, and his wife Vivian, 68, also moved into a house next door to the Schoolings in 1997.

Dawe, who served with the Royal Engineers and fought in the Suez Crisis in 1956, admitted taking an ”instant dislike” to both couples.

The court heard how Dawe was first convicted of a public order offence in March 1998 followed by another in June 1998.

In September 1998 he was convicted of harassment and in October was given 12 months community service for wounding.

In November he was convicted of common assault and later jailed for four months for harassment in 1999.

On one occasion he called Mr Schooling a ”scum bag” and told him his house looked like ”a tart’s boudoir” after he fixed a beaded curtain over the door.

Dawe became one of the first people in Britain to receive a 15-year ASBO in March 2000 which was later reduced on appeal to 10 years.

But in August that year he was jailed for 12 months after he was convicted of four breaches of the original ASBO.

He was also found guilty of making peacock noises outside Mrs Schooling’s kitchen window in a bid to drown out her radio.

Dawe also drove his car at Mr Snookes in a bid to scare and intimidate him and in 2001 was convicted of harassment.

In 2004 magistrates slapped him with another ASBO which he broke and in October 2005 he was sent to prison again for 12 months.

A week-long trial heard Dawe was the ”neighbour from hell” terrorising his neighbours on an almost daily basis.

On one occasion he goose-stepped up an ant hill while shouting ”The Don rules”.

He also attacked another elderly woman neighbour by hitting her with his walking stick when she challenged him over his behaviour.

On top of his prison sentence Dawe was slapped with his fourth ASBO which banned him from walking along a public path between his neighbour’s properties.

But he returned to court on August 3 this year where he admitted three breaches of his latest order.

On the first occasion on August 14 he said to Melvyn Snookes: ”I’ll get you for your gutter-sniping comments at my hearing.

”You do anything against the Dawe family and I’ll get you.”

On October 12 at 9.30am he sang outside the home of Shirley Schooling and later that morning yelled ”Look out, the don’s about”.

On December 19 he looked through a gap in his garden fence which is adjacent to the Schooling’s property and said to Janet Schooling: ”Did you hear me?
I called you split arse.

”I used to change your nappies and I saw your fanny.”

Nicholas Cartwright, prosecuting, said: ”Janet Schooling was upset by these remarks.

”The defendant was in his property which backs onto her home and he called her a ‘split arse’.

”The first breech of the ASBO had taken place several weeks before. Mr Snookes has in the past been the victim.

”Shirley Schooling was later upstairs at her home. She heard the defendant outside her home singing at the top of his voice.

”This was done deliberately to annoy her.”

Six other breaches of the ASBO, which Dawe did not plead to, were ordered to lie on file.

A restraining order banning Dawe from contacting the two families or walking between their homes was also imposed. He was also ordered to repay £1,706 costs at £5 a week.

But speaking outside court Dawe was unrepentant and declared: ”I’m still the don.”

He added: ”It doesn’t matter how many ASBO’s they use people will still come to me for help.

”These two families won’t accept that I’m the one with the most authority and respectability in the village.

”They’ll do whatever they can to smear my name.”


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