Cooloongup: Two-year neighbourhood dispute lands resident a community release order in court

A TWO-YEAR neighbourhood dispute resulted in one person’s motorcycle being pushed over and doused with brake fluid.

Mandy Van De Logt pleaded guilty to destruction of property, trespass and failure to give police personal details when she appeared at Rockingham Magistrates Court on May 10.

Before Van De Logt was given a community release order for 12 months, with a $500 bond, the court heard the context of a neighbourly relationship that had soured.

It came to a head on March 14, about 10pm, when Van De Logt went to her neighbour’s property and pushed over his Harley-Davidson.

She left her neighbour’s, then returned, tipping brake fluid over the bike.

The noise woke the neighbour, who came out and they argued.

Police were called and Van De Logt was arrested, swearing at police and refusing to give her details.

Van De Logt’s lawyer said the incident came in the context of an acrimonious issue where effectively Van De Logt snapped and had had enough.

“It arose from the conduct of the neighbour towards Ms Van De Logt.”

The lawyer said it had become very abrasive and toxic, with the neighbour often sitting at the front of his home watching Van De Logt.

She said he had installed cameras directed at Van De Logt’s property and into her backyard.

Van De Logt’s partner would not let his four-year-old out in their backyard for fear of them being filmed.

The lawyer said other neighbours had witnessed the neighbour’s behaviour towards Van De Logt and were upset about it.

He had also reported her water usage to the Water Corporation, thrown rubbish on her lawn and played loud heavy metal music or opera music at odd times of the night, interfered with her meter box and cemented broken glass bottles to the adjoining fence of their property.

He claimed Van De Logt was a drug dealer, making a Facebook post that disclosed Van De Logt’s address as a location to pick up drugs, and spray painted the words “drug dealer’ on her driveway.

The lawyer said all those allegations were false and Van De Logt worked and she had the full support of her employer.

Van De Logt had called the police several times but nothing had arisen from it.

The lawyer said the neighbour had caused Van De Logt significant stress, anxiety, frustration and depression, culminating in her putting her house up for sale earlier this year.

Van De Logt’s lawyer asked Magistrate Susan Richardson for a modest fine, to waive the $400 damages cost to the bike and for Van De Logt to be granted a spent conviction due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the incident.

In response, Magistrate Richardson acknowledged that there was a substantial background to all these matters.

“The neighbour’s behaviour is not physically damaging but highly emotionally damaging,” she said.

“Behaviour that is supported by numerous letters from other neighbours.”

Magistrate Richardson took into account Van De Logt had no a criminal record and that the offence was not the most serious on the spectrum.

“It is extraordinary that one should have to sell their home but you are taking steps to avoid problems for yourself,” she told Van De Logt.

“Your character outweighs the seriousness of the charge.

“The circumstances are extreme in my view and it is highly unlikely that you will offend again.”

When granting her a spent conviction, Magistrate Richardson did not order Van De Logt to pay restitution.