Arsenal star Jack Wilshere given police warning after Harpenden netting row
PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 May 2016
A spat between an England football star and a multi-millionaire businessman in Harpenden has yet again had mainstream media salivating over the very public fall-out between the neighbours.
The row between Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and the pensioner has resulted in the footballer being issued with a warning notice from the police after he allegedly aimed spittle towards him, when the pair saw each other on their shared driveway.
Two months ago, the Herts Advertiser broke the news that St Albans council had decided against taking any official action after a complaint was lodged about 18ft-high netting Jack had placed along one boundary of his plush Harpenden home.
His annoyed neighbour, named in The Sun as Alun Cathcart, 72, had complained about the giant net, attached to Jack’s fence in West Common to stop footballs from flying over the boundary.
According to Companies House records, Alun has had 50 appointments over the decades, including directorships with Avis, Selfridges and pallet distribution company Palletways.
Council officers visited Jack’s 0.32 acre property – currently on the market for over £3.6 million – to investigate Alun’s complaint but decided against taking any further action as there had been no planning breach.
But the row has since escalated, with a recent story in The Sun claiming that the businessman called the police after an alleged incident.
The paper said Alun claimed the 24-year-old Arsenal ace spat in his direction when the older man “pulled up at his £3.5 million mansion in his convertible Jaguar XS”.
However the Gunner has bitten back, responding by tweeting: “Today’s sun [sic] story is completely untrue, me spitting at an OAP? Come on…this is harmful to me and my family!!”
Jack’s agent told the Herts Advertiser that it was a private matter but the Gunner “totally denies this incident happened”.
This paper was unable to contact Alun for further information, and an Arsenal spokeswoman said there would be no comment from the club, as it was a ‘private matter’.
But a spokeswoman for Herts Police confirmed that officers were called to Harpenden on Wednesday, May 4 “following a report of a neighbourhood dispute and anti-social behaviour.
“We have spoken with both parties and have given advice. A 24-year-old man has been issued a Police Information Notice (PIN).”
Asked what advice was given to the men, the spokeswoman said she would not go into details, but no further action had been taken since the complaint was laid – despite Alun threatening to press charges, according to The Sun.
PINs, sometimes called “harassment warning notices”, are not covered by legislation and do not themselves constitute any kind of formal legal action.
However police get people to sign these notices to show, in case of possible future legal proceedings, that a suspect was aware their behaviour would count as harassment.
This is apparently important because the offence of harassment occurs where there has been more than one incident, and the perpetrator knew their conduct amounted to harassment.
But, because signing a PIN does not mean admitting any wrongdoing, there is no right of appeal.
However, if Jack is unhappy about being issued with the warning, he could complain to the Herts Police.