When reaching into a neighbour’s garden to clear ivy a 62-year-old man breached a restraining order by “crossing the boundary”, a court has ruled.

Andrew Rodgers was cleared of causing criminal damage to a shrubbery after spraying pesticide but must pay £716 in a fine and costs for the breach.

The order was due to expire at the end of January but magistrates at Llandudno on Friday extended it by a further year. It bans him from contacting his neighbours Geoffrey and Margaret Specht or entering the curtilage of their property.

Chairwoman Carole Ashton told him at the end of a trial: “On the charge of criminal damage we are not satisfied you were directing the spray at the shrubbery and find you not guilty.

“On the breach of the restraining order we find you guilty of reaching into your neighbour’s garden. We are satisfied you did not have a reasonable excuse for doing so.”

Extending the restraining order she explained : “We hope in that time things will settle down now that you are aware of what the restraining order means.”

Prosecuting, Sarah Gruffydd read statements from Mr and Mrs Specht of Vardre Avenue, Deganwy, a quiet residential street.

Mr Specht recalled how when they returned from a weekend away in June they saw on CCTV Rodgers removing a fence panel, pulling at the shrubbery and ivy, then emerging from his shed with weed killer. His wife said they had lived there since 1980 “but ongoing issues for many years resulted in the restraining order”.

The prosecutor said Rodgers told police : “As far as I am concerned I’ve been a good citizen and want to get on with my life.”

He’d added: “All I have done is to go behind my property and try and get rid of ivy.”

He explained to his barrister Ember-Jade Wong that he had lived at his address since 2000 and was quite a keen gardener. He’d found ivy protruding into his shed so had pulled it up and sprayed at the back of the shed. “I don’t think I leaned over,” he said “I didn’t spray pesticide into the Spechts’ garden but into the back of my shed. At no point did I spray the shrubbery. There was no intention of damaging anything other than the ivy, I leaned over my fence panel.”

Cross-examined about whether he sprayed weed killer around the shrubbery he declared: “No.”

The prosecuting barrister said: “It may have been a technical breach of a restraining order, not the most serious, but a breach nonetheless. Damage to the shrubbery was caused when weed killer was sprayed.”

Miss Wong suggested that CCTV footage was not clear. It appeared that the shared border did not form part of the “curtilage” referred to in the restraining order. “It doesn’t make sense” that he would purposefully spray pesticide into his neighhbour’s garden.

She said Rodgers worked in the gas and electricity industry and was proud of a job he’d held for a significant part of his life. His passion was in rescuing border collies.

He was fined £360 with costs of £356.