A 91-year-old man from Daventry is believed to be the oldest person in the county to be convicted of a criminal offence after he admitted harassing his wife.
Ernest Thallon, of Spring Gardens, appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court after he was charged with plotting a campaign of harassment against his wife of 65 years, Beatrice, aged 84, who lives in Briar Hill, Northampton.
The court heard that over a three-week period in May, Thallon had let down the tyres on his wife’s car, jammed the lock on her front door and padlocked her garage shut. Thallon, a former rent collector, was arrested by police on May 22 and admitted that he had harassed his wife because he wanted a set of keys to the house.
Hayley Kempneer, defending, said Mr Thallon had become concerned about his property inside the house as he believed his wife had a gambling problem.
She said: “Mr Thallon says his wife lied about the alleged assaults. He says she has a gambling problem which began when she starting going to bingo. He was worried about the safety of his property which was rightfully his.”
The court heard on Thursday that Mr and Mrs Thallon had been estranged since 2009 after an allegation of assault was made by Mrs Thallon against her husband.
Mrs Kempneer said Thallon, as co-owner of the property in Jubilee Close, believed he should be given a set of keys to the house but he had realised that his behaviour was “childish” and he regretted his actions.
She said: “Mr Thallon is extremely upset now that he has been convicted of this offence as he doesn’t like the idea of passing away with a criminal record. Mrs Thallon has never made a complaint, it was only by way of his own admissions to police that this matter has proceeded to court.”
Thallon, who pleaded guilty to harassment on May 31, was given a 12-month supervision order and a restraining order banning him from entering Jubilee Close or directly contacting his wife.
Thallon said he thought “the law was an ass” after he was convicted of harassing his wife.
The pensioner, who served with the RAF during World War Two, said he just wanted entry to his home so he could check that his belongings were being looked after by his wife.
He said he knew that it had been a “terrible thing” to jam the locks but he wanted his wife to know what it felt like to be unable to gain entry to the house.
But Mr Thallon said he had been the “happiest man on earth” for most of his marriage.
Hayley Kempneer, who represented Mr Thallon, said it was the most unusual case she had ever been involved in.
Mrs Kempneer said: “He is certainly the oldest person I have ever represented.”