Restraining order given to stalker
A MARRIED couple in their 50s is relieved a 10-year no-contact order has been made against their neighbour who repeatedly harassed them over a 12 month period.
In Gympie Magistrates Court this week, Neale James Kerville admitted filming the couple in their own yard, making racist remarks and putting up malicious signs on his property to intimidate his neighbours.
The court heard Kerville, 40, installed cameras and spotlights on the side of his house and pointed them at the neighbour’s property, filming their every move. On one occasion, the spotlights were left shining on the couple’s house for 16 hours.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Manns said the neighbours fell out over a fencing issue and the dispute started to get out of hand once Kerville began making racist and derogatory comments to his neighbours.
She said he put up a number of offensive signs on his property aimed at the couple, played loud music through speakers facing their house, yelled at them and threw objects over the fence.
When police investigated the couple’s complaint, Kerville showed them his television which displayed the 24-hour, seven-days-a-week live feed of his neighbour’s property and he was charged with two counts of stalking.
The court heard that the couple felt scared and intimidated after being subjected to “sustained and deliberate harassment” and could no longer venture outside their home without fear.
Snr Constable Manns asked for a no contact order to be made for 15 years with the exception for issues over joint property, where contact could be made in writing.
Defence solicitor Chris Anderson said it was a “twist of irony” because the discussion over the fence was initially made in writing by his client.
“That was how it all began,” he said and told the court the relationship broke down because the complainants failed to provide certain materials to fix the fence after it was damaged during construction of their new shed.
“My client admits to engaging in what he described as ‘acts of bastardry’,” Mr Anderson said but added that Kerville had become frustrated by his neighbour’s un-neighbourly conduct.
“It was tit-for-tat... I encourage Your Honour to take that into consideration,” he said.
The court learned Kerville was planning to move from Gympie to Eumundi in an effort to avoid further incidents.
He was sentenced to 12 months prison, wholly suspended for three years and another 12-month prison term with immediate release on parole.