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Help dealing with aggressive neighbours / on behalf of my parents

(12 Posts)
rubybambini Thu 25-Apr-13 15:40:46


Not sure where to put this really - please say if there's a better topic.

My parents' neighbours are becoming increasingly aggressive towards them. They live on a farm, and there are just five houses in close proximity. I'll describe the latest two incidents, which I'd say is the worst yet.

Yesterday, the neighbour, let's call him Dave, accused my father of running him over, whilst Dad was trying to pass him on a single track farm lane. Dad stopped the car when Dave started yelling, which allowed Dave to put his hands on the car bonnet and stood in front, preventing the car from moving forwards, whilst shouting things like you shouldn't be on the fucking road, you're not fucking fit to drive and as my dad put it 'foaming at the mouth'.

When Dave eventually moved aside (about a minute later), dad started to move the car forwards, at which point Dave threw himself on the floor and screamed you've just fucking run me over, you're leaving the scene of an accident - then proceeded to pretend dial the police. (No police arrived, so we assume this is what happened.)

Today, my dad walked the dog past Dave's hedge, as he's done for years, and could hear Dave saying from behind the hedge 'just you wait, just you wait'.

My dad is 77, and has lived peacefully all his life. He has no idea how to deal with this neighbour, and frankly, neither have I. The neighbour has been there for about five years, Dad has lived in the house all his life.

I know that my dad can wind people up, as he has a very old-fashioned view on life, but even being subjective as I am, being his daughter, I fail to see how he deserves this treatment, which is ruining what's left of his life.

I've told them to keep a record of everything that happens, and to stick together, ie not walk alone and just avoid this chap at all costs (hard, as they live about 100 feet from each other).

What else could I recommend?

They are not keen on notifying the police, as they don't want to inflame the situation. But, I can fast see that they're becoming prisoners in their own home.

Any advice or experience, much appreciated.

Alad Fri 26-Apr-13 06:06:18

Sounds like harassment. Keep records. Video recordings also useful. Report to police.

furbaby Fri 26-Apr-13 06:34:14

Yes I would report to police .
What Dave did is not normal behaviour at all , I would be concerned as to what this idiot is going to do next .
Is he trying to get your dad to move out ?

ajandjjmum Fri 26-Apr-13 06:38:19

How awful for you and your parents. Would it be worth you having a quiet word with the police, and explaining that your parents are reluctant to get them involved, but that you're not sure how to handle it?

What about the people in the other houses, are they having any problems?

BeckAndCall Fri 26-Apr-13 06:46:23

Your poor dad.

There must be a back story here though - what started off this series of events? Has the neighbour complained about your parents activities for instance - early morning noise on the farm, hedge dispute, smelly animals, something like that? Or do your parents farm vehicles block the neighbours access to their property?

I think you need to help your parents to honestly trace back the start of this.

Potentially, if you're confident you're not going to put yourself in harms way, can you talk to the neighbour and ask them what this is all about?

Planetofthedrapes Fri 26-Apr-13 08:29:34

Either this guy has some "mental health issues" or he's got a grudge about something that happened in the past or he thinks your Dad is an easy target and wants to get something from him (grab some land from the farm for his garden...goodness knows).

Can your dad go and have a quiet word with the police to log these incidents, and seek their advice.

rubybambini Fri 26-Apr-13 09:21:06

Morning - thank you! This has hopefully, resolved itself.

The police did in fact turn up late yesterday afternoon (so I guess that's what the 'just you wait' bit was about).

They went to Dave's first, then across to my parents' house. Apparently Dave isn't going to press charges - he claimed that dad drove away from the scene of an accident. Whilst that's serious legally, it's laughable in reality and his amateur dramatic attempts.

My dad is now kicking himself for not having gone to them first, but thankfully, mum had written the whole scenario down - so it was clear to the policeman that they'd been very worried about it.

He asked if they were frightened of him (my dad is about 5'5 and shrinking, while Dave is about 6ft and built like the proverbial brick toilet), and they said yes. And the policeman of course said, if there's any more trouble, come straight to us.

So I think Dave, has probably unwittingly alerted the police to the fact he's an agressive character and his ridiculous call has backfired.

I think it began over a lorry about two years ago - many get lost as they use their GPS which is inaccurate at that particular location, and have to turn at my parents. Dad was trying to help the guy turn round, and Dave came out to yell at the lorry driver for going the wrong way, then turned on dad for no known reason. So silly.

Dave is in fact trying to sell his house - I'd also wondered if he was trying to oust dad in some way. Unfortunately his house is, I think, over-priced for the area, so who knows.

I think this has taught my parents a lot about the role of the police - they're so law-abiding, they just didn't know what to do. So they now know that it's not all blues and twos, and that they can talk about their concerns.

Watch this space. (Or not, I hope!)

Thanks again.

BeckAndCall Fri 26-Apr-13 10:08:46

I'm glad that has all worked out ruby. In wonder if your best tactic is to just 'let it lie' or to be a visible presence in their garden/driveway to show that they have 'protectors'? I know I'd be tempted to wade in with my hobnails if it were my parents but I'm equally convinced that might not be the best approach and may just escalate things unnecessarily.

rubybambini Fri 26-Apr-13 19:32:15

I would...but I live 200 miles away! Mum and dad have hatched a plan to accompany each other all the time, eg when walking the dog, so there's always two / a witness. But generally, follow the policeman's advice of 'avoid, avoid, avoid'. Fingers crossed etc.

ajandjjmum Fri 26-Apr-13 19:45:19

My Aunt (a widow) had a similar problem with a male neighbour. DB got his solicitor to write to the chap saying that they considered his behaviour to be harassment, and if it continued, the police would be involved. Like most bullies, he's no trouble now - just glowers whenever spotted!

rubybambini Sun 28-Apr-13 12:50:20

Thanks ajandjjmum. The police are now involved. And in the latest development, my uncle (stupidly), stopped to speak to the neighbour when passing him this morning. He thought he could smooth things over, but Dave went berserk again, saying that his family, my dad's family, his children (ie my brother and me) were all a bunch of fing shites. My uncle said Dave, I'm not frightened of you, at which point Dave screamed get out of your fucking car and prove it, show me you're a man. I ask you!

So, my uncle called the police, and they're going round to try to mediate tomorrow. I'm now more worried than ever on their behalf. The situation really needs to simmer down, quickly - I really can't understand what's changed so rapidly, other than that Dave's been stewing since the lost truck episode (which was six months ago, not two years, my mistake).

I think he's also hugely frustrated at not being able to sell his house, and is probably somehow blaming my father.

I just feel so sorry for my folks - having lived peacefully all their lives in that same house, it seems grossly unfair.

Hey ho.

furbaby Mon 29-Apr-13 23:06:38

Hows things going ruby ? Is Dave still being a knob ?

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