A grandfather has been convicted of public order offences after he was caught drunkenly loitering outside the home of his new, young neighbour.
Dennis Ravenscroft, 73, stopped at the property of council finance officer Victoria Ormrod, 26, as he stumbled home following a night out.
The retired plumber was arrested in April after Miss Ormrod, who installed a Ring camera on the front door of her Stalybridge, Greater Manchester area home, was woken by an alarm.
Security footage showed Ravenscroft trying to open the doors of Miss Ormrod’s car. He was also seen with his hands down his trousers.
The old man was subsequently intercepted by police before he made it home after the victim dialled 999.
Ravenscroft admitted using threatening or insulting behaviour and was conditionally discharged for two years.
He was ordered at Tameside Magistrates Court to pay £85 costs and a £22 victim surcharge.
Dennis Ravenscroft, 73, (left) has been convicted of public order offences after he was caught drunkenly loitering outside the home of 26-year-old Victoria Ormrod (right), his young neighbour who had just moved into the community
Officers intercepted Ravenscroft, who would drink up to 14 pints in a night, on his way home on April 24 after his stop at his neighbour’s residence.
Miss Ormrod checked the security footage on her phone and immediately recognised Ravenscroft as the culprit after realising she had recently said hello to him upon moving into the area.
‘Miss Ormrod was awoken by a loud notification alert from her Ring doorbell,’ Prosecutor Mr Graeme Tindall told the court.
‘It was 4.53 am on a Sunday morning and Miss Ormrod, who had only recently moved to the area, certainly wasn’t expecting any visitors.
‘When she looked at the ring footage she saw Ravenscroft standing with one hand down his pants and the other trying her car door to see if it would open.
The prosecutor said Ms Ormrod recognised Ravenscroft as her ‘new neighbour’ and admitted to having said hello to him a few times, but claimed she ‘never really got to know him.’
Mr Tindall said: ‘It was for this reason that she was initially hesitant to get the police involved but eventually called the police due to Ravenscroft’s persistence in trying to unlock her car door.’
Ravenscroft (pictured) admitted using threatening or insulting behaviour and was conditionally discharged for two years. He was ordered at Tameside Magistrates Court to pay £85 costs and a £22 pound victim surcharge
Ravenscroft was detrained while heading back to his Booth Street home. Officers noted he had clearly been drinking and say he gave no explanation for his conduct.
‘This is a very sad matter to be dealing with,’ defence lawyer Tim Hughes said during mitigation. ‘My client has no idea why he would go out or be out at that time. He does suffer short term memory loss, quite frankly, he has the memory of a goldfish.
‘When interviewing him earlier he even forgot what he had said to the probation officer had said to him an hour earlier. It’s for these reasons that he doesn’t feel himself capable for his actions.
‘There is no doubt that there is something neurologically wrong with him, although he has never been diagnosed. Because of his near total hearing loss, Dennis has found it extremely difficult to get diagnosed, COVID certain hasn’t helped either.
Mr Hughes added: ‘This isn’t some kind of weird, wonderful or excessive behaviour. He can’t explain what he did that night. The closest he usually gets to Ms Ormrod’s address is when he takes his bins out to the front of his house.’
‘I come across a lot of people in this job and when they say they can’t remember what they did it is usually them trying to play the system or fly a kite. This is not the case for Mr Ravenscroft, in my opinion, there is something neurologically amiss.
‘I think Mr Ravenscroft has some form of undiagnosed dementia, my two parents had it and I know the signs. He is currently on state benefits and has expressed remorse that he has upset Ms Ormrod. He is also embarrassed – who wouldn’t be?’
Ravenscroft was arrested in April after Miss Ormrod (pictured), who installed a Ring camera on her front door, was woken by an alarm. She checked the security footage on her phone and immediately recognised Ravenscroft as the culprit after realising she had said hello to him
A background probation report on Ravenscroft was read to the court.
It said: ‘He had suffered a blow to the head when a gas bottle fell on him a number of years ago, since then his mobility has significantly deteriorated.
‘He had also been drinking in excess at the time of the event and would go for 14 or so pints at the local pub every other night and he never drank at home. Since this incident, he has reduced that number to three to six pints every other night.
‘He has been retired for 10 years but used to be a plumber and electrician that ran his own business. He resides at home and doesn’t see his family much save for his son, grandchildren and brother Brian, who is here in court with him today.’
‘He is not in a relationship and has previous good character, except for a one-off conviction for theft back in 1983.’
Sentencing JP David Saville told him: ‘Although we are concerned about your behaviour, we will not impose a restraining order between you and Ms Ormrod due to the logistical difficulties this would entail.
‘You have clearly taken this all onboard and should continue to avoid Ms Ormrod for the foreseeable future.’