IN COURT: The Leyburn man threw a rock at his neighbour’s car in the middle of a heated confrontation. Picture: file
IN COURT: The Leyburn man threw a rock at his neighbour’s car in the middle of a heated confrontation. Picture: file

Neighbours’ months-long conflict explodes into violence

Months of building tension exploded in a heated confrontation between neighbours, landing a Southern Downs man in court for damaging the other man’s car.

The altercation between Michael John Norcott and his neighbour broke out at about 10am on December 2 last year.

The Warwick Magistrates Court heard the other man stopped outside the 46-year-old’s home and began filming their argument about the land, which he sold to Northcott earlier that year.

Police prosecutor Ken Wiggan said Northcott picked up a dirt rock from his driveway and threw it in his neighbour’s direction, hitting his car door.

Sgt Wiggan said the Leyburn man then jumped the front fence and ran at his neighbour, who got back into his car and drove away.

Northcott initially told police he was only clearing rocks from his property and never intended to hit anything.

While Sgt Wiggan contended it was “quite clear he wasn’t cleaning up”, he also acknowledged there was likely some provocation from the neighbour.

The court heard the rock disintegrated on impact, leaving little damage.

Duty lawyer Clare Hine said the conflict between her client and his neighbour had been brewing for about six months, with “a lot of tit-for-tat” behaviour.

She also claimed the Leyburn man usually tried to ignore his neighbour, but he couldn’t help reacting when the other man called him “a filthy grub”.

Ms Hine told the court Northcott believed the tension stemmed from a personality clash and his neighbour’s dissatisfaction with how he managed the property.

Northcott pleaded guilty to one count of wilful damage.

He was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond and no conviction was recorded.

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