A MAN lunged at his neighbour with a knife following a row over music.

Jonathan Fairchild, 66, of Hannett Road, Canvey, was involved in a long-running dispute with neighbour Alan Nutt, 52, over a tree which was overhanging his garden.

Matters spilled over on July 23, when Fairchild, who had been drinking, lost his temper with Mr Nutt, claiming he was playing music too loudly.

He marched next door and confronted him with the knife in front of several witnesses.

Raj Joshi, prosecuting, claimed Fairchild told Mr Nutt: “I’ve had enough of you” and then lunged at him.

Reading from Mr Nutt’s witness statement, he said: “I believe he was trying to stab me and if he had been close I believe he would have injured me.”

Richard Burrington, mitigating, said the defendant had been a troubled youth, but had not been involved in a serious offence for 20 years after meeting his wife.

He added: “He is essentially a retired man. He is house proud, he is very happy in the street he lives in and happy with all of his neighbours, bar of course, Mr Nutt.”

Judge Alan Saggerson, sentencing Fairchild at Basildon Crown Court, said: “The law takes a serious view of possession of a knife in a public place, not because drunken morons like you take knives out with malicious intent, but because accidents can and do happen.

“This is the sort of ridiculous behaviour I’m accustomed to dealing with drunken teenagers.”

Fairchild was sentenced to five months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to pay costs of £250. He will be subject to an electronically monitored curfew, which will prevent him from entering his back garden between 8pm and 7am, until February.