Man made homophobic remarks to shop owner

A DISABLED man made homophobic remarks to a pet shop owner when he was prevented from parking in his garage.

Michael Knight, 57, of Alexandra Road, South Shore, admitted behaving in a threatening manner.

Jayne Barty, prosecuting, said Knight rented a garage in Highfield Road and Steven Griffiths ran a pet shop there. Parking problems in the area had caused tension between people.

Mr Griffiths saw Knight had parked over an emergency exit at around 8.40am on October 31 and he took a photograph of the vehicle.

Knight said to him: "Who do you think you are?" He went on to call Mr Griffiths a series of homophobic slurs and threaten to rip his head off.

Mr Griffiths said he did not like being insulted over his sexuality. When interviewed by police Knight said he had no idea Mr Griffiths was gay.

Martin Hillson, defending, said his client's car and Mr Griffiths' vehicle had met head on in the middle of a narrow alley. Mr Griffiths said he was just making a delivery, but he went into his shop and did not come out to unload.

This annoyed Knight, who had knee and spinal problems and walked with a stick.

He was given an 18 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay 80 costs by Blackpool magistrates.