Children ‘traumatised’ in neighbour’s war on daycare
The neighbour of a childcare centre says singing provoked him to traumatise staff and children with an airhorn and abuse.
Matt Wayne Matthews, 49, was on Wednesday fined $400 for his outburst outside Toral Lodge Child Care Centre on October 8 last year.
Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard an ongoing dispute between Matthews and the Buderim centre came to a head when he began shouting abuse from his unit about 3.20pm.
“The defendant was heard to be yelling and swearing towards the childcare centre which was heard by children inside,” police prosecutor Rebecca Lambert said.
“The defendant has further used an airhorn to make loud noises towards the childcare centre.”
Sen Constable Lambert said the children and staff were in fear of Matthews’ behaviour.
Police were called to centre while parents present moved their children inside.
“Police spoke with multiple persons at the childcare centre and they observed that there was an employee who was crying as a result of the fear for her safety due to the defendant’s behaviour,” she said.
Matthews was aggressive towards police when they arrived to speak with him.
“He admitted to the behaviour towards the staff at the childcare centre because they were enticing children to play loudly and sing songs,” Sen Constable Lambert said.
Matthews was arrested and during his ride to the station he told police he was going to “wage a crusade” against the centre and take further action in the future.
The father-of-one was also caught driving up his driveway without a licence on November 3.
He said he was only going to collect his mail.
Matthews on Wednesday pleaded guilty to committing public nuisance and driving without a licence while disqualified by a court order.
Duty lawyer Kylie Anderson said there were ongoing disputes between Matthews and the centre which he had previously complained to police about.
“My instructions are that the property was built some time ago so it doesn’t necessarily conform to the same noise standards that would be relevant for a childcare centre in a residential area if it was built at this time,” Ms Anderson said.
She said Matthews and his partner had wanted to move from their unit but were finding it difficult due to the Coast’s low vacancy rate.
Ms Anderson said Matthews’ aversion to the centre could be explained by his hypersensitivity to noise.
Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said she didn’t accept Matthews’ reasoning for his behaviour.
“I think you’re just a bully who likes his own way because, as for noise, you’ve got a one year old yourself,” she said.
“It’s outrageous that you think you can get a loud hailer and start interfering with a childcare centre with little children who would have been very traumatised.”
Matthews was fined $400 for the public nuisance a conviction was recorded.
He was also disqualified from driving for two years and fined $800 for the driving without a licence.