Husband of Redcar and Cleveland Council leader given restraining order after assault on neighbour

A man has been told to keep away from a Teesside family after attacking a dad in front of his young child.

Richard Lanigan, who is the husband of Redcar and Cleveland Council leader Mary Lanigan, has been given a restraining order forcing him to keep away from the home of Shaun and Lisa Miller in the East Cleveland village of Easington after he was found guilty of assault and criminal damage.

74-year-old Lanigan attacked Mr Miller in a confrontation on 15 August 2021.

Richard, also known as Mike, had been carrying out maintenance work on a nearby cenotaph, close to the Miller's home on Whitby Road. This is what is said to have triggered the incident amid a two-year feud.

Video footage shows Lanigan pushing Mr Miller to the ground at the site of a war memorial before repeatedly kicking him.

Mr Miller was knocked to the ground in the attack, before being kicked several times by Lanigan after getting back on his feet. Credit: Gazette Media Company

The family say they have been left living in fear due Lanigan's actions and spoke of their relief at securing the restraining order.

Lanigan was sentenced at Teesside Magistrates' Court after being found guilty in a trial at the same court in early March.

Richard's wife Mary Lanigan was present at the time of the attack and gave evidence at his trial in his defence.

The sentencing hearing was told how Lanigan was a 'vulnerable man' in failing physical and mental health and who continued to deny any wrongdoing.

Lisa Miller read out an emotional statement to the court saying: "Since the assault on my husband, and the harassment that I have experienced at the hands of Mike Lanigan, there have been a number of factors which have affected my daily life.

"My daughter who is six was present with her father when he was assaulted; she has experienced nightmares, a panic attack and sleepless nights as a result of being in fear of Mike Lanigan.

"She has also witnessed Mike Lanigan continuing to be present around our property boundary up to six times per week following the assault."

She continued: "I am shocked, disgusted, hurt, disappointed and had my home life and enjoyment of my outdoor space ruined by this man. I have put up with his threatening stares whenever he sees me in my car, and even when my children are present on the way to school.

Richard, also known as Mike, Lanigan. Credit: Gazette Media Company

"I am unsafe in my own village, and have had to rely on victim support on many occasions."

Lanigan, also damaged a Vauxhall Astra belonging to Mrs Miller, with the court hearing how plant pots had been thrown over a fence scratching the vehicle.

Prosecutor Jo Hesse asked magistrates to impose a restraining order on Lanigan after saying there had been "incidents and issues" over two years.

Nick Woodhouse, representing Lanigan, argued against the order. He said Lanigan had been 'going about his business' at the war memorial on the day of the assault and was with his wife at the time.

He said Lanigan, who had no previous criminal convictions, had permission from Redcar and Cleveland Council to be on the council-owned land on which the memorial was sited, to allow him to carry out maintenance work.

Credit: Gazette Media Company

Mr Woodhouse argued that a restraining order would potentially prevent him from carrying out any further work at the site, which is adjacent to the Millers' home.

He added: "This is not someone who is regularly before the courts. It is an isolated, one-off incident."

He imposed a two-year-old restraining order under which Lanigan was told he must not contact Lisa or Shaun Miller and stay more than 10m away from their home.

Speaking after the hearing Lisa Miller said: "We hope we will now get some peace and we just want to get on with living a quiet life."