A Tasmanian couple have been harassed, stalked and verbally abused by their next door neighbour.

Tom and Frank (names changed on request to protect identity) live in a rural town in Tasmania. Their neighbour, who they’ve known since 2018 when they moved into their property, started to harass and abuse them in mid-December last year following a minor disagreement. 

The neighbour has also allegedly vandalised their property as well as made both homophobic and xenophobic remarks.

“They put signs in their front window of ‘p***ters live here’ with arrows pointing to our house,” Tom told Star Observer.

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On one occasion, the neighbour allegedly installed a waste water pipe into the couple’s garage and on another, used spikes from an old fence and laid them across the couple’s driveway. The couple also claimed to have found their letterbox stuffed with glow sticks, a bottle of lubricant, and condoms filled with cream.

Restraining Order Against Neighbour

The couple obtained a restraining order against their neighbour in March this year. “They were summoned to court mid-June and pled ‘guilty’, and they received an ‘adjourned sentence’ which just means that it was no sentence, but [the judge] reserved the right to sentence them again if they do it again,” Tom said. 

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Equality advocate, Rodney Croome has been helping the couple since they contacted Equality Tasmania. “We have quite strong laws against incitement to hatred and against intimidating and humiliating conduct,” Croome told Star Observer

“The anti-discrimination tribunal has found that the existing protection in the Act is broad enough to cover harassment by neighbours.”

We’re at the moment pushing hard to have our government amend the sentencing laws so that assault motivated by all forms of hatred and prejudice [will be included].”

The couple have urged those who are in similar circumstances to contact their state-based LGBTQI advocacy group. 

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

 

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