This is the moment a pensioner took revenge on a new neighbor by ruthlessly using a key to mark lines in his £60,000 Lexus amid a row over a residents’ association.
Keith Ardley, 75, was reportedly jealous of Marius Crisan’s new car and damaged it out of spite.
He was caught on CCTV running a key along the side of the black Lexus 450h hybrid in the parking lot of the building where they live.
The video shows the flash of a key in his right hand as he marks three intermittent lines in the paint.
Keith Ardley has lived in the building in Bournemouth, Dorset, with his wife Elizabeth of 40 years
Tensions between Ardley and Mr Crisan built up after the victim moved into the flats and tried to start a residents’ association.
Ardley, who has lived in the building with his wife Elizabeth of 40 years, warned Mr Crisan to “calm down and lay low” because he was new.
The council’s retired computer scientist finally expressed his frustrations as he drove past Mr Crisan’s car on January 8, 2022.
Mr Crisan, 40, noticed the damage the next day and asked the security company which operates CCTV at Wimbledon Hall in Bournemouth, Dorset, to check the footage.
Ardley, who is partially deaf and blind, was prosecuted for causing £1,000 criminal damage to Mr Crisan’s car.
Video footage of the incident shows the flash of a key in Ardley’s right hand
He was caught by CCTV passing a key to the side of the black Lexus 450h hybrid
Pictured: Keith and Elizabeth Ardley leaving Poole Magistrates’ Court
The defendant denied the offense and insisted in court that he “never lied”.
Ms Ardley gave evidence saying she had seen the scratches the day before the incident.
Jason Spelman, prosecuting, told Poole Magistrates the couple came up with an apology that “just didn’t make sense”.
He said: ‘The defendant used a spanner to scratch three lines in Mr Crisan’s new car.
“We have CCTV which clearly shows the defendant’s score lines in the car.
“The defendant suggested that he simply ran his fingers along the car to feel the scratches his wife had mentioned the day before.”
Giving evidence, Ardley said: “In just four seconds I ran my fingers along the scratches, but that was only over half the car.”
“Even then I couldn’t have scratched the car because the keys in my hand were in a leather pouch.
“I never lie, my wife and I have always told the truth.”
Mr Spelman told the pensioner: “You’re telling a big lie now, aren’t you?”
‘What is the probability that you found them immediately while walking alongside the car?
“In the footage we can see that you paid no attention to the car.
“You were stealthy because you thought no one was watching and you were going to get away with it.
“Were you jealous of Mr. Crisan with his expensive car?
“You had a very hostile conversation when he tried to form a residents’ association.
“You told him to ‘calm down and lay low’ because he was new to the neighborhood.”
Magistrates found Ardley guilty after viewing the video footage.
Magistrates found Ardley guilty after viewing the video footage – he was ordered to pay Mr Crisan £1,000 in compensation and £620 to cover the costs of the trial.
Mitigating Debbie Scudmore said her client had no prior convictions and was of good character.
She said: “He vehemently denied committing the offense and his wife said she saw the scratches on the car the day before.”
Daniel Church, presiding magistrate, told Ardley: ‘I have considered your previous good character and have read letters from former colleagues vouching for your integrity.
“However, in listening to the evidence that you and Elizabeth have given, I have found significant inconsistencies.
“In the CCTV, a flash of your keys shows they weren’t properly seated in the leather pouch as you said.
“In your statement to the police, you said your wife showed you where the scratch was on the car when you drove past.
“In the footage, she never looks at you and she didn’t even know you touched the car.
“The CCTV did not show you feeling the car with your fingertips.
“I am satisfied that you scratched the car and I find you guilty of the charge of criminal damage.”
Ardley was ordered to pay Mr Crisan £1,000 in compensation and £620 to cover the costs of the trial.