AN 81-YEAR-OLD great-grandfather has been told he could go to prison if he continues to harass his neighbours.

‘Neighbour from Hell’ William Seed launched a six-year campaign against the family next door after they put in an application for decking in their garden, which he was not happy about, a court was told.

The retired farmer, who was convicted of bludgeoning cats to death 11 years ago, threatened to attack his neighbour William Maxwell with a pointed metal tool.

He swore at him and also sounded his car horn excessively causing alarm and distress, Blackburn magistrates heard.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Maxwell said Seed, who was captured on video threatening his neighbours, had made his family’s life ‘miserable’.


Seed had already been handed a criminal anti-social behaviour order last year after throwing dead rats and rabbits, chickens’ feet and a mallard’s head into Mr Maxwell’s garden.

He pleaded guilty to breaching the order and was sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for two years at Blackburn Magistrates Court yesterday.

The district judge Richard Clews told him: “No court would want to send an 81-year-old man to prison, but I can assure you it will if it needs to.”

The court heard how Seed, who cares for his wife, has some health difficulties including a prostrate and bladder condition.

He first breached his CRASBO when he tied bags, some containing food, on the fence between his and his neighbour’s property and sounding his car horn, a judge was told.While that breach was being investigated by the police, he threatened his neighbours with a sharp metal pole after he heard Mr Maxwell’s wife Carolyn, who is a teacher, in the garden playing the radio.

After the sentencing, Liverpool City Council worker Mr Maxwell, 48, said Seed had made his family’s life ‘Hell’.

He said: “Seed thinks he is a bit of a loveable rogue. He thinks he is a bit of a local celebrity bad boy, but he is a very, very coarse, unpleasant and bitter man.

“People have this view that ASBOs are for kids, but he has the brain of a child. People want to build him up as a pillar of the community.

“All we want is for him to leave us alone. It is not much to ask.

“We want to be left alone to bring up our young family.

“This is not just him living his life. It is him finding reasons to make problems as soon as he sees us.

“It goes back to six years ago when we asked him about some decking. The council said it was fine, but he did not like that view.

“That does not justify a six-year campaign of personal abuse and intimidation.

“We know he has been having health issues, but they do not stop him from making our lives as miserable as possible.”

Seed’s solicitor Alexander Rostron told the court said his client, of Higher Road, Longridge, was willing to work with Mr and Mrs Rostron to solve the issues.

He said: “This has spiralled and he has allowed himself to become embroiled when he ought not to have done.

“He is willing to make changes in order to make sure there is no repeat of this.”

Judge Clews also sentenced Seed to an electronically monitored curfew between 6pm and 6am, extended the terms of the CRASBO for five years and ordered him to pay an £80 surcharge and £85 in costs.

Seed declined to make a comment after the sentence.