A LLANDEILO landlord has been found guilty of committing assault, but has been cleared of harassment.

Simon Buckley, 60, of Abbey Terrace, appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court for trial on Tuesday.

Buckley was alleged to have assaulted Gerald Jones by beating on July 29, as well as harassing his wife, Julia Jones, between July 23 and September 22 last year.

The court heard that Mr Jones is the owner of a shop and flat to the rear of The White Horse Inn, in Llandeilo, which is owned by Buckley.

Access to the flat and the pub is gained through an archway, which runs through from the main road in Rhosmaen Street, with a second access at the back of the premises which has a public car park.

A long running disagreement between the two parties over the couple’s right of way in approach to the car park was the cause of the dispute.

On July 29, Mr and Mrs Jones had been walking out of their property, when the court heard Buckley, who was sat outside on a table, approached them.

The prosecution argued that Buckley had placed his hands on Mr Jones before pushing him against the wall and telling him not to use the access as he had no right of way.

However, when called as a witness, Buckley said he had walked past Mr Jones, and put his hand out to ask to speak to him. Mr Jones, Buckley said, then tried to barge past and initiated the contact himself.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, said: “There is clear contact, as you can see from CCTV, between Mr Buckley and Mr Jones.

“It is clear from the CCTV that Mr Jones was wrong about the strength of action but I would say it is fair to see where his perception comes from. Mr Buckley is a much larger, younger man.

“It is natural that his perception would be that he was being held against the wall.”

The harassment allegations consisted of three emails sent from Buckley to Mrs Jones over the course of three months last year, as well as an incident in the car park of the pub.

Summing up, Buckley’s attorney, Martin Paul said: “It is possible for a witness to be sincere and also be mistaken. That may be the case with some of the evidence you have heard.

“In relation to the harassment charge, none of these emails can be considered harassment.

“None of them are the result of unsolicited contact. Each of these emails is in response to a specific trigger of some sort. They are not oppressive.”

The court cleared Mr Buckley of the harassment charge, but found him guilty of assault.

He was given a 24 month conditional discharge for the assault.

Following the trial, Mr Paul said: “Mr Buckley is pleased to have been acquitted of the charge of harassment.

“He is disappointed that the magistrates found him guilty of assault on prosecution evidence that they themselves described as exaggerated and overblown.

“Mr Buckley considers that the magistrates were wrong in law to find that he was not allowed to use any force whatsoever to remove the trespassers from the White Horse.

“He will appeal against this conviction to the crown court and he expects that will succeed.”