A MAN has been jailed after punching his neighbour and threatening his family with a BB gun after accusing him of ‘spreading rumours’.

Stuart Gale, of Roundfield in Upper Bucklebury, Reading, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday (June 20) after punching his neighbour, Mark Dollin, in the face, accusing him of spreading ‘s*** down the pub’ about him.

The 41-year-old also threatened the Dollin family with a black BB handgun after breaking their Ring doorbell camera and garden gate.

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He was charged with criminal damage, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and possession of an imitation weapon with intent to cause fear of violence.  

The 41-year-old was jailed for 22 months for the incident which occurred on May 10 this year.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Sank said there no indication of ‘animosity’ between the defendant and the family, who had lived there for several decades.

However in the afternoon of May 10, Gale showed up outside the house holding a shovel. Sue Dollin, Mr Dollin’s elderly mother, answered the door.

Gale, brandishing the shovel, told Mrs Dollin that her son ‘better stop spreading s*** around the pub’ or he will be ‘digging some graves’.

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Mr Dollin’s sister-in-law, Leslie, later visited Gale’s house to ask him about the altercation but he told her to ‘f*** off’.

About 15 minutes later, Gale arrived the Dollin’s home again and was ‘immediately aggressive’.

Mr Sank said: “[Gale] then forced his way in pushing past Mark Dollin. Then he grabbed Mr Dollin by the throat and held him against the wall shouting, ‘What’s all these rumours you’ve spread about me?’

“With the defendant squeezing his throat, he was struggling to breathe. The defendant then removed one of his hands and punched him three to four times to the side of the face.”

Gale also attempted to punch Mr Dollin’s sister-in-law who was calling the police before he left the house.

He returned moments later with his brothers and the garden gate was damaged. Gale left and returned a fourth time with the BB gun and tried to get into the side door but it was locked.

The Dollin family were fearful for their lives, believing the gun to be real.

Police then arrived and Gale was arrested.

Defending Gale, Helen Dawson said he has no previous convictions, but several cautions.

She said: “It appears somewhat out of character for him. He was clearly agitated and upset and under the influence of alcohol.

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“He regrets finding himself in this position. He apologises, especially to the mother.”

Ms Dawson said she was instructed by Gale to ‘seek nothing but a custodial sentence’.

As well as imprisonment, he was also made subject to a restraining order against the Dollin family’s home.