Nightmare Withywood neighbour in jail after arrest at airport
A NIGHTMARE neighbour who stayed in Spain instead of turning up for his trial has been arrested and is now in prison.
As previously reported, Barry Collins was convicted of contempt of court after repeatedly breaching injunctions by harassing people on his street – Bishport Avenue, Withywood.
The 68-year-old was sentenced at Bristol magistrates' court to two weeks' custody and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The Post understands that last Thursday night he was arrested at Bristol International Airport returning from the continent, where he had been for more than a month. He is now serving his sentence at HMP Horfield.
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Collins' primary victim, neighbour Timothy Wrigley, 50, told The Post: "I feel like I've finally got a little bit of justice now – at last.
"The police rang me and said he was arrested at the airport as he got back from Spain."
Collins' harassment of his neighbours came in a number of ways.
He burned piles of meat in his garden, threw out-of-date food into neighbours' gardens, repeatedly phoned Mr Wrigley, stared at him through his window, threatened him and others and threatened to poison neighbours' pets.
Mr Wrigley, who has now been moved away from Withywood by the city council after his two-year ordeal, added: "He made living there impossible. I basically became a recluse – it's been very stressful."
Collins signed an acceptable behaviour contract in March, but he breached it within two days.
In the autumn, he was given notice of an injunction banning him from causing harassment, alarm or distress to anyone in Bishport Avenue and also the former estate manager for the council, Aggi Wise.
But within nine minutes he was on the phone to Mr Wrigley swearing and threatening: "I owe you one."
The next day he threw a tin of corned beef at Mr Wrigley's front door – an act which was caught on CCTV.
After the breaches racked up, Collins was summoned to the magistrates' court.
But a few days before he was due to contest a contempt of court charge he called Mr Wrigley from a Spanish phone number then failed to turn up for his trial.
On November 22, a district judge found him guilty of six breaches of the injunction and imposed a two-week jail sentence. He was also ordered to pay the council's costs of £1,025.
Collins is now likely to be evicted from his council flat as the local authority confirmed it will "take action against his tenancy".
Police spokeswoman Claire Stanley said: "I can confirm that Mr Collins was arrested by officers on Thursday and is now in Horfield prison."
The council's anti-social behavioural manager Stuart Pattison said previously: "Mr Collins behaviour was totally unacceptable and after making every effort to get him to change his behaviour we took action to protect the neighbours from further harassment."