A LANDSCAPE gardener claims a pensioner who took him to court for parking near his Worcester home was "obsessed" with him.

Nick Whitehead had to defend himself at Worcester Magistrates Court after Peter Chance instigated a private prosecution against him for parking his car on the pavement a few doors down from the 82-year-old's home in Lavender Road, Barbourne.

Mr Whitehead, of St John's was accused of 'obstructing the free passage along a highway, namely the public pavement outside 64 Lavender Road' but was found not guilty in court on February 5.

The 44-year-old said that he began working for a customer in Lavender Road in spring last year and would visit once a fortnight, parking outside for approximately 15 minutes each time.

Mr Whitehead told the Worcester News: “I was warned about Peter by his neighbours. He came out and started taking photos and quoting references out of the Highway Code.

“It is so tight down there with the truck and trailer I had no choice but to park on the path. Peter called up the police and the council to report me. I also contacted the police and they assured me I was fine to park there as I was only on the premises for 15 minutes at a time and parking is a struggle.”

Mr Whitehead claimed that Mr Chance repeatedly sent him letters and added: "I reported him for harassment to the police, however as he has never physically knocked on my door, they cannot do anything.”

In 2015, Mr Chance was charged with using threatening, abusive or disorderly words or behaviour to cause harassment, in a case unrelated to Mr Whitehead, and was due to stand trial at Worcester Magistrates Court on August 4 of that year but the prosecution was dropped.

Mr Whitehead said that over the past eight months he has appeared in court four times due to Mr Chance's private prosecution against him, which has cost him £1,600 in total on solicitors fees.

The magistrates court did rule that Mr Whitehead's costs would be reimbursed but it was not clear whether that would cover the full amount.

Mr Whitehead said he was told that Mr Chance would only have had to pay £30 to cover his own costs for the prosecution.

“It is absolutely frustrating that we have to foot the bill and this guy has made my life living hell and walked away," Mr Whitehead said.

"I thought he would have accrued costs but he just walked out of the court while the money comes out of central funds. So basically, the taxpayer paid.

“Nothing is stopping him from doing all this again. If he had got a fine, it may have stopped him going after more people. It is terrible justice. You win in court and think 'thank God for that'.

"I cannot put a price on waking up at 3am with constant stress over being dragged through the court over mowing a lawn.

“I have worked as a gardener for 25 years in Worcester and have never come across anything like this. I became his project – he was obsessed with me.”

The Worcester News attempted to contact Mr Chance but he did not want to comment on the matter.