A MAN “lost his rag” and took an axe to a neighbour’s car after making hundreds of complaints about him to local authorities, a court heard.

William Rossiter attacked three cars outside Przemyslaw Gornowicz’s house in Harefield Road, Southampton with an axe after he reached breaking point due to constant noise coming from the victim’s property.

He caused more than £2,500 worth of damage to a Mercedes minibus, Daihatsu Motorcar and Audi, as well as to a gate and door.

The court heard that Rossiter had lived next door to Mr Gornowicz for eight years and during that time had contacted environmental health, police and Southampton City Council 1,451 times to complain about the noise.

Prosecuting, Timothy Akers said that on April 1 Mr Gornowicz heard glass breaking in his back garden and when he looked out he could see his neighbour “smashing his friend’s car.”

Rossiter, who pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal damage, one charge of possessing a sharp pointed article in a public place and using threatening behaviour, then went to the claimant’s back door and began hitting it with the handle of the axe.

He was arrested that evening.

Mitigating, Joanne Chester said the attack was the “culmination of eight years of extreme anti-social behaviour” and that not only was Mr Gornowicz playing loud music through boom-boxes but was also running an unauthorised car firm.

She told the court that other residents had complained about the noise – which had forced Rossiter “to watch TV with head phones” and “sound proof his own room”.

The court heard that since the incident, Mr Gornowicz had moved out.

Judge Peter Henry said under normal circumstances Rossiter would face a custodial sentence but labelled the case “wholly exceptional” due to the long complaint history.

Rossiter was given a community order and ordered to pay compensation to the victim.