A MAN has received a conditional discharge after he admitted assaulting the great-grandson of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien.

Ivor Hopkins, of Manor Park in Sychdyn, appeared at Mold Magistrates Court on Friday morning to stand trial for assaulting his neighbour, Royd Tolkien.

But the court heard the 83-year-old had "a change of heart," instead admitting common assault against Mr Tolkien.

Prosecutor Neil Catherall told the court that on September 16 last year, the complainant was in his garden when he spotted the defendant spraying weed killer on the boundary wall between their properties.

READ MORE: "Do you want me to shoot you?" - man jailed after terrifying bakery incident

Mr Tolkien decided to watch in case Hopkins sprayed any of the liquid on his plants - and he began recording on his phone when he believed it had indeed happened.

He went over to the wall and as he pointed the camera up, Hopkins sprayed him with the liquid.

Mr Catherall told the court the complainant was "shocked" by what had happened, with the weed killer having caused his left eye to sting and his vision to blur.

No apology was offered, the court heard, and by the next day the injury was better.

When he was interviewed about the incident, Hopkins told police he believed the wind must have caught some of the weed killer and caused it to spray on Mr Tolkien, maintaining it hadn't been done on purpose.

READ MORETeen drug-driver in court after leading police on high speed chase

Simon Simmons, defending, told the court the incident had arisen against the background of a "long running dispute" between the two neighbours.

He told the court the complainant has many cameras on poles pointing at Hopkins' property and that being filmed was "quite intimidating" for his client.

Mr Simmons told the court the footage provided by Mr Tolkien shows him giving a "running commentary" about how the liquid went on his arm and chest, but didn't reflect any panic about his eyes.

"He just wants this over and done with and to move on," Mr Simmons added.

After a short period of deliberation, the court handed down a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered Hopkins to pay £350 costs, as well as £22 by way of a victim surcharge.

No compensation was awarded as it would felt to do so may "aggravate the situation."


Make sure you don't miss the top court stories of the week by signing up to our free court newsletter

The Leader: