FOUR Amble men were given restraining orders after an incident that had its roots in a family feud lasting more than 10 years.
At South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, John Craiggs, 33, Mark Taylor, 31, both of Straffen Court, David Moore, 20, of Leslie Drive and Steven Moore, 33, of St Cuthbert’s Avenue, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour.
They were due to stand trial on more serious charges with additional charges of criminal damage for the Moores and Taylor but these were dropped and replaced by the section five public order offences.
In December 2010, Stacey Greig and Stephen Roebuck were at home with their three children aged 12, nine and three.
The couple were watching the television when they heard something hit the window, possibly a snowball.
When Miss Greig looked out of the window she saw a man mooning at her. He was identified as Steven Moore by Mr Roebuck.
James Long, prosecuting, explained that there had been ‘considerable disharmony’ between the Greig family and the Moore family in Amble for more than a decade.
It was then said that the four started shouting and swearing at the couple before Craiggs went into the garden with an object in his hand, although he denied having anything.
Mr Long said: “The children became very concerned and upset by what was going on directly outside their house.”
He conceded that Mr Roebuck didn’t react appropriately as he acted in a ‘volatile manner’ by going outside and confronting the group with a pool cue.
But John Brown, defending Steven Moore, said: “Mr Roebuck armed himself with a cue and later armed himself with a claw hammer and a meat cleaver.
“The whole incident was escalated by Mr Roebuck.”
Graham Crowth, defending David Moore, said: “Mr Roebuck is known to have a bit of a temper and a bit of a short fuse. The only person who had anything in his hands was Mr Roebuck, who admits he had a pool cue.
“He then went back in and came out with a hammer and later came out with a bigger hammer and a knife.
“The sum total of David Moore’s involvement was a bit of shouting.”
He also suggested that Mr Roebuck may have been responsible for frightening his own children by going outside and ‘waving a stick about’.
“I’ve no doubt that they were upset, but in no small part to the actions of Mr Roebuck himself,” he added.
Explaining the need for restraining orders, Mr Long said that while there had been no further problems in the 14 months since the offence, this was in part due to the installation of a police camera.
“Such is the concern of the police in this matter, to prevent further difficulties between these families there has been installed a police camera, which cannot stay there forever, to monitor their behaviour,” he said.
The 12-month orders prevent the men from directly or indirectly contacting, harassing, alarming or distressing Stacey Greig or Stephen Roebuck.
All four men were also ordered to pay a £65 fine and £100 in court costs and surcharges.