Queenstown’s own ‘neighbour from hell’ has a second conviction for assaulting a neighbour.
Property developer Alistair Hey, 54, sprayed weed killer in neighbour Tim Clark’s face last September.
Last Thursday, Hey was sentenced at Invercargill District Court to 70 hours’ community work for common assault and ordered to pay $1500 emotional harm reparation to Clark.
That follows an assault conviction in January last year, after Hensman Road resident Hey kicked 71-year-old neighbour Geoffrey Hamilton in the knee.
Justice might have been done but rattled neighbours aren’t taking any chances. They’ve complained of heavy bass music and fireworks being set off at all hours.
Two sets of neighbours have already moved and another plans to.
Neighbour Linda Cross says: “If there were one of those neighbour from hell shows over here, he’d be on it.
“We lock the door when we get home.
“We hear the music and firecrackers at midnight.”
Hey’s latest victim, Clark, 57, says he made about half a dozen noise complaints.
Noise control officers attended five in three years but only deemed it necessary to issue an ‘excessive noise direction’ on one occasion.
Clark says he confronted Hey after the music was left on all weekend - that’s when he was sprayed in the eyes and “then we got into it”.
“You can’t behave like that,” Clark says. “Everyone in the neighbourhood would like him to stop his nonsense.
“He’s just not a very pleasant guy.”
Clark’s eyes _ sprayed with a diluted mixture of moss and mould remover _ were irritated for several days and his arm was injured in the tussle.
He was treated by St John but didn’t need hospital treatment.
The incident was caught on CCTV set up by former Hensman Rd resident Frank Schreiber, who accused Hey of racially abusing him, prompting him to move house.
“It was a nightmare,” Schreiber says.
“My whole family was traumatised, my children didn’t want to walk to school, we lost our personal freedom pretty much. We had to move. We were scared. He is a violent man, once he snaps.”
Clark says he’d had little problem with Hey over 20 years but that changed when he made a statement to police about the Hamilton case.
“He decided to make our lives miserable,” Clark says.
The music drove Hamilton and his wife “nuts”, he says.
“Alistair got bent out of shape with me and it was then directed at us.”
Problems with Hamilton and Schreiber stemmed from the use of a shared driveway.
Other neighbours say Hey is a wind-up merchant. They claim he lets off huge fireworks at random times and does other things to irritate them such as putting up a New Zealand flag on a pole, blocking the Clarks’ views. But the situation’s improved since his arrest.
Clark intends to move house.
Hamilton has already moved. Hey declined to comment to Mountain Scene.
In the Hamilton case, Hey was convicted and his sentence deferred for six months. He was also convicted for intentional damage of Hamilton’s BMW and ordered to pay $839 reparation.
Judge Michael Turner said at the time the neighbours lived in a “state of acrimony” and encouraged them to stop using the justice system to sort it out.
Legal advice available to Mountain Scene is that neighbours should refrain from taking action themselves and to involve the police, who will put the matter before the court as they see necessary.