A DECADE ago this month we reported on an 'ASBO pensioner' and self-styled 'Godfather of Castle Morton'.

We reported in August 2010 how the pensioner, who had terrorised neighbours for the last 15 years, was told he was facing prison – after he sang Oh What a Beautiful Morning outside their homes.

Richard Dawe, then aged 76, of Hollybed Street, Castlemorton, near Malvern, also threatened a neighbour, saying he was going to “get him” and called another woman living nearby “slit eyes”.

He had previously sung Tom Jones’ Delilah, used his sheep dogs to herd an elderly resident and once goose-stepped up an ant hill shouting “The Don rules” – a reference to the name he gave himself when he took on a Godfather-type role in the village.

He admitted breaching an Asbo (anti-social behaviour order) banning him from causing his neighbours fear or distress on three occasions between August 14 and December 29, 2008.

He was warned at Hereford Crown Court he would be jailed if he continued to break his Asbo.

Judge John Cavell said: “The last thing a court wants to do is to commit a man of 76 in poor health to custody.

“If he continues to behave the way that he has done, the only way to stop it is to put him into custody.

“All he has to do is behave like a reasonable, normal neighbour and allow his neighbours to live their lives without the constant abuse and threats that they’ve endured in the past.” The court was told that Dawe had lived at his bungalow with his wife Joy, 78, since 1939.

Problems started when Janet and James Schooling, both in their 40s, moved into a cottage up a gravel track from Dawe’s home in the mid-90s.

Melvin Snookes, 69, and his wife Vivian, 68, also moved into a house next door to the Schoolings in 1997. Dawe admitted taking an “instant dislike” to both couples.

He became one of the first people in Britain to receive a 15-year Asbo in March 2000, which was later reduced on appeal to five years.

But he was later convicted of four breaches of the original Asbo.

Dawe was convicted of using his sheep dogs to herd an elderly resident and making peacock noises outside Mrs Schooling’s kitchen window.

He also drove his car at Mr Snookes in a bid to scare and intimidate him.

In 2004, magistrates handed him another Asbo, which he again broke. A week-long trial was told that Dawe was the “neighbour from hell” terrorising his neighbours on an almost daily basis.

He also attacked an elderly woman neighbour by hitting her with his walking stick.

Dawe was given his fourth Asbo, which banned him from walking along a public path between his neighbours’ properties.

But on Monday he was back before the court, where he admitted three breaches of his latest Asbo.

Six other breaches, which Dawe did not plead to, were ordered to lie on file.

The court was told that Dawe threatened long-suffering neighbour Mr Snookes on August 14, 2008, warning him: “I’ll get you for your gutter-sniping comments at my hearing.” On October 12 that year, he sang outside the Schoolings’ home, belting out Oh What a Beautiful Morning in the middle of the afternoon. He then sang Delilah at the top of his voice.

Then on December 19, he confronted Mrs Schooling and called her “slit eyes”.

Dawe was granted bail until sentencing next month on condition that he stays away from the Schooling and the Snookes families.