A MAN who kicked in his transgender neighbour’s garden fence after she had thrown fallen tree branches onto his property has been convicted of criminal damage.

Robert Marshall saw red when he found Kate Vovro, whose birth name is Paul Hockey, had cut trees that overhung into her garden and dropped the debris back onto his property.

CCTV footage showed Marshall, 49, peering over the fence and shouting at his neighbour ‘come and see, I’ve got something for you’.

His wife Amanda, 44, can be heard calling Ms Vovro, 51, an ‘a......e’ and a ‘gutless freak’ in the footage.

The couple were recorded throwing the tree cuttings back onto Ms Vovro’s property, with some landing in her swimming pool. Marshall then repeatedly kicked the timber fence that borders their £400,000 detached homes in Verwood.

Ms Vovro, who runs a sandblasting business, accused her neighbours of being transphobic and of harassing her.

Mrs Marshall, who works in a care home, denied using transphobic language and said she did not mean to cause Ms Vovro distress.

She said: “I wasn’t thinking anything other than ‘leave me alone - I don’t want anything to do with you anymore’.

“Through my work I have to do a lot of equality training and have no problem with anyone being transgender.

Mr Marshall added: “It does not bother me one little bit (if he dresses as a woman). I don’t care about anybody’s sexuality.”

The couple were cleared of harassment charges but Mr Marshall was convicted of causing criminal damage. He was fined £50 and given a 12 month conditional discharge.

Magistrates in Poole heard how there had been tension between the two sets of neighbours for several years.

Matters came to a head in August 2018 when the Marshalls returned home to find the tree cuttings in their garden. Jonathan Morrissey, defending the Marshalls, accused Ms Vovro of provoking the couple by ‘setting the whole thing up.’ Ms Vovro attended court alongside Julie Miller, a transgender consultant and speaker. Afterwards she said she was surprised her neighbours were found not guilty of harassing her.