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Woman in court over damage to gate
2:50pm Thursday 6th March 2014 in News
Jayne Hepburne, 50, had been used to going though the gate at the bottom of a ginnel off Neville Road for several years, the court heard.
But on November 5 last year, she found it padlocked shut, and had taken her anger out by shouting at the tenant of the nearest house and by kicking the gate.
Caroline Midgley, prosecuting, said the wooden gate had been secured shut by the Jephson Housing Association following concerns that it posed a risk because of its direct access onto the A65.
Hepburne had been seen by a nearby tenant standing by the locked gate and kicking it, and responded by telling her she had no right to close the access off.
The housing association said the gate would cost £277 to replace.
Hepburne admitted criminal damage but was quite a small woman who was not entirely fit and was physically incapable of destroying the gate, the court heard.
In mitigation, John Mewies said Hepburne had lived in Gargrave for 11 years and when the Neville Road houses had been built there was an access for residents to get onto the A65 and into the village.
He said the gate had been there for several years and believed that the housing association would have difficulty in permanently blocking it off, as it must be an established right of way.
“This was an old decrepit gate and it has now been removed and, for some reason, a barrier has now been put up,” Mr Mewies said.
Mr Mewies added although Hepburne accepted she had kicked the gate, it should not be up to her to pay for it to be replaced with a fence.
Magistrates gave Hepburne a six-month conditional discharge and ordered her to pay costs of £45 and a £15 victims surcharge. No order of compensation to the housing association was made.
The housing association has previously said it had taken the decision to permanently close the gate because of its proximity to the busy A65.
It added that it was not a public right of way and that it had consulted with residents.