A long-running dispute over mooring fees saw a man allegedly cover his boat with abuse including swastikas aimed at the Broads Authority. 

William Emmerson, 35, is accused of painting a string of four-letter insults and Nazi references towards the authority on his houseboat as part of a protest.

When a Broads ranger confronted him on October 10 he was threatened and told it was a “f****** art installation”, Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard.

Eastern Daily Press: William Emmerson is accused over an incident at Sutton StaitheWilliam Emmerson is accused over an incident at Sutton Staithe (Image: Newsquest)

Complaints about the obscenity-covered boat, which was moored at Sutton Staithe, near Stalham, eventually saw the authority attempt to shield it from view by placing a tarpaulin over it.

But the enraged boat dweller had ripped it off and thrown it into the river where it was lost, the court was told.

READ MORE: Police and ministers called in over row at Broads Authority

Eastern Daily Press: Emmerson denies threatening and abusive behaviour and theftEmmerson denies threatening and abusive behaviour and theft (Image: Newsquest)

Emmerson pleaded not guilty to threatening and abusive behaviour and theft. He opted for the case to be heard at Norwich Crown Court.

Colette Harper, prosecuting, said he had told police it had been a protest against the Broads Authority who he accused of persecuting him over mooring fees.

She said the ranger had tried to hand him an official letter he had been threatening and told to “stick it up your f****** arse”.