A 'JEKYLL and Hyde' pensioner hit a man with an axe and smashed up his car after a simmering feud erupted into violence, a court heard.

Michael Dack denies assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage at his trial which began at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday.

The 72-year-old of Queen Elizabeth Road, Malvern is alleged to have hit the man in the chest with the weapon near Upton on September 4, 2018.

Daniel Cummings told the jury that his four little terriers had approached Dack who works as a gardener for his neighbour in Newbridge Green, near Upton in July, 2018. As a result the pair, who had known each other for about four years, had an argument with Dack swearing and telling him the dogs should be on a lead, waving his hedge trimmers to keep them away. Mr Cummings accepted he told Dack: "Shut your face!"

The complainant described how the two already had a dislike for each other and Mr Cummings later noticed one of his tyres had been let down, believing (but accepting he had no proof) that Dack had been responsible. He told the panel Dack had been 'tormenting me for months and months and months' which he said included staring at him, grinning at him from his neighbour's garden and 'trying to wind me up'. On the day of the incident itself Mr Cummings said he was pulling onto his dive when he noticed Dack driving towards him 'at a pace that would indicate I wasn't there'. "He drove at me and he didn't look like he was going to stop" said Mr Cummings.

"I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me" said Mr Cummings who followed Dack's Land Rover Freelander in his Ford Transit van. He said that Dack's actions 'annoyed me' and he wanted to have a conversation with him after deciding 'enough is enough'.

The complainant followed him into Monsell Lane where he said he found Dack had stopped his car and was urinating against a hedge. When Mr Cummings asked Dack 'what he was playing at' he said the defendant denied knowing him at all and claimed he did not recognise his van. "It was at that point I went 'I bet it was you who let my tyre down'." Mr Cummings told the jury he was 'not a fighter' and remained in the driver's seat with the window down and with his seatbelt on, referring to Dack as 'like a rabbit in the headlights'.

Mr Cummings said the defendant had been waving his glasses at him when he decided to snatch them off him. He also mentioned the tyre which had cost him £200 to replace and said: "I could cost you money. See how you like it."

Mr Cummings said Dack then got an axe from the footwell of his car.

Describing him as 'like Jekyll and Hyde', he said Dack began 'thrashing' his car with the axe before 'the blows started coming in the cab' as he shouted 'give them back'. Mr Cummings said he was struck several times with the axe, the hardest blow falling on his chest. "It rocked my sternum," he said.

He told the jury he managed to 'yank the axe away from him' before he drove off. Mr Cummings also had the defendant's glasses and jumper. He said the 'axe wound' left a dent in his chest which remained for eight months. The blow caused a broken rib, his doctor had told him.

The trial continues.