A man accused of harassing a Palestinian's wife by hoisting an Israeli flag in his garden said he only intended to draw it.

Andrew Milner, 46, of Gordon Road, Shoreham, was alleged to have launched a racist campaign against his neighbours Loai and Debbie El-Oun.

A string of abusive incidents, following a dispute about Milner's drainpipe protruding on to the El-Ouns' house, were claimed to have happened while Mr El-Oun was visiting family in Gaza Strip, Israel.

Mrs El-Oun said Milner hung an Israeli flag on a washing line in his garden, pointed a video camera on a tripod at the El-Ouns' garden and stuck a golliwog in a window overlooking his neighbour's property, between May 8 and June 21.

Chichester Crown Court heard Milner, who denies racially-aggravated harassment, thought Mr El-Oun was Russian.

At yesterday's hearing, Richard Barton, prosecuting, read Milner's police statement taken after his arrest on June 28, 2002.

Saying he only intended to sketch the flag, Milner told police his wife Paula collected golliwogs and had 27 around the house.

The case continues.