Watch: Pensioner keyed neighbour’s £60,000 Lexus after fall-out

Keith Ardley - BNPS
Keith Ardley - BNPS

A pensioner keyed his neighbour’s £60,000 Lexus after the man moved into his block of flats and “tried to set up a residents' association”.

Keith Ardley, 75, was said to have been jealous of Marius Crisan’s brand new Lexus car and damaged it out of spite following a fall-out.

He was caught on CCTV running a key along the side of the black Lexus 450h Hybrid in the car park of the block of flats at Wimbledon Hall, in Bournemouth.

Tensions between the pair had been building after Mr Crisan moved into the flats and tried to set up a residents' association.

Ardley, who has lived in the building with his wife Elizabeth for 40 years, had warned Mr Crisan that he should “pipe down and keep a low profile” because he was new to the area.

The retired council IT worker eventually let his frustration get the better of him while walking past Mr Crisan’s car on Jan 8 2022.

A video shows the flash of a key in his right hand as he scores three lines into the side of the car.

Mr Crisan, 40, noticed the damage the next day and asked the security company that operates the CCTV at Wimbledon Hall to check the footage.

Ardley, who is partially deaf and blind, was prosecuted for causing £1,000 criminal damage to Mr Crisan’s car.

Ardley denied the offence and told Poole Magistrates’ Court: “I never lie.”

His wife gave evidence stating she had seen the scratches the day before the incident.

Jason Spelman, prosecuting, told the court that the couple had come up with excuses that just “didn’t make sense”.

He said: “We have CCTV which clearly shows the defendant scoring lines into the car.

“The defendant suggested that he was simply running his fingers along the car to feel for the scratches his wife had mentioned the day before.”

'I never lie'

Giving evidence, Ardley said: “I never lie, me and my wife have always told the truth.”

Cross-examining him, Mr Spelman said: “In the footage we can see that you paid no real attention to the car at all.

“You were being furtive because you thought that nobody was watching and that you would get away with it.

“You had a very unfriendly conversation when he tried to form a residents' association.

“You told him to ‘pipe down and keep a low profile’ because he was new to the block.”

Magistrates found Ardley guilty after seeing the video footage.

Debbie Scudmore, mitigating, said her client had no previous convictions and was of good character.

Ardley was ordered to pay Mr Crisan £1,000 in compensation and £620 to cover costs of the trial.