No action over man's death after 'fence dispute'

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The Independent Online

A man arrested on suspicion of murdering his next-door neighbour following a reported dispute over a garden fence will face no criminal action.

Donald Bowman, 56, was detained following the death of grandfather David Fantom, 63, in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in July.

Mr Fantom suffered head injuries at his home in Windermere Road and died the same day in hospital.

Other neighbours said at the time that the pair clashed over the fence between their neat semi-detached properties in a quiet suburban road.

They said the fence had originally been about 5ft, but Mr Bowman, wanting more privacy, was thought to have then put up a fence of 6ft in the weeks before the fatal incident.

Police said they were called to Mr Fantom's home at 10.35am on July 8 following reports of a dispute and discovered him there with head injuries.

Mr Bowman was questioned by police on suspicion of murder shortly after and was later released on bail pending further inquiries.

Last month he was told no further action would be taken against him, Greater Manchester Police confirmed.

It is understood that post-mortem tests on Mr Fantom proved inconclusive and that the head injuries appeared superficial.

The matter will now be passed to the Stockport coroner.

Mr Fantom had lived at the house with his wife, Elaine, for about 30 years. Their daughter, who has a child, lives nearby.

Mr Bowman, himself a father, had moved to his property about four years ago, according to neighbours.

Today Mr Bowman refused to comment on the matter.