The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door, Season 3
Sundays at 5.30pm AEST from May 13 until June 17
Neighbourhood disputes are common in most countries – not the least in the United Kingdom where there are around six million registered complaints each year. Most of these are of a minor nature but occasionally relationships between neighbours can turn nasty and dangerous – with physical violence and police intervention sometimes involved. In other cases protracted legal action can result in financial ruin and even bankruptcy, as well as acute distress for all involved.
The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door looks at some of these extreme cases with five of the worst experiences here:
- A bitter dispute about land boundaries would almost financially destroy Carol and Trevor Gilmour when they bought and started renovation on a barn in rural Cumbria, North West England. Lyn Brophy, the next-door neighbour, claimed that part of their property was in fact hers, and this triggered bitter confrontations between the two owners.
Protracted legal action followed that lasted two years and brought the Gilmours to the brink of financial ruin. Lyn Brophy finally lost the case, and the appeal that followed, and costs were awarded against her. However further confrontations about the boundary line continued, with the dispute remaining unresolved after 5 years.
- Julie Reid and her partner Paul moved into a small block of flats in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England, that was serviced by a communal driveway. A neighbour, Judith Robinson, was described as “an eccentric” but her subsequent behaviour went far beyond that.
A reign of terror and harassment followed over the next 12 months, with Judith Robinson banging on the door at night, shining lights, yelling and scratching their car. After fitting a security camera to record her behaviour the incidents were reported to police who were already well aware of her behaviour.
She was finally arrested and charged with harassment and criminal damage, fined £500 and issued with a restraining order against approaching Julie Reid. Julie and Paul later moved from the area.
- Lisa Tuttle and her family moved to rural Geldeston in Norfolk, UK. However their family dogs caused major issues with a neighbour John Cook, who operated a partridge and pheasant farm nearby.
In October 2014 three of the Tuttle’s dogs escaped and broke into Cook’s farm, allegedly killing a large number of birds. Cook’s gamekeeper shot two of the dogs,
as he was entitled to do by law, and no charges were laid. However the Tuttles were left deeply distressed and very unhappy with living in the area.
- In Torbay, Devon, the peace and tranquillity of a quiet close in the area became a battlefield after neighbours Wayne Howard and Roger Peach became locked in conflict over a tree.
The situation continued to escalate with allegations of physical assault and damage to cars
and Howard’s reaction was to install an extensive CCTV system.
Neighbours followed suit and soon the area was covered by multiple surveillance devices operated by several residents, with Howard regarded as the main problem. The whole close ended up in a sort of electronic war, with trust and neighbourhood goodwill a major casualty.
- Emma Jackson moved into a flat in a Housing Association complex and soon after arriving, her upstairs neighbour, Mark Ray, continuously disturbed her by playing his television at high volume, night and day.
The situation continued to worsen across the next few months, with extreme verbal abuse and threats of violence following whenever she complained and general harassment continuing in a variety of ways. After Ray was observed on her property with CCTV footage he was charged and issued with an injunction against harassing Jackson but she later left the area after a year of unendurable conditions.