Threats force DIY couple from home

A MAN threatened to stab his neighbours after a long-running feud about their noisy DIY home renovation.

Raymond Terrance Hunter and his neighbours, who worked in the defence force, had been fighting for years about each other’s noisy habits before it culminated in frightening threats on April 6 last year.

Ipswich District Court heard the neighbours were relaxing on their back veranda on Whitehill Road, Eastern Heights, at 4.30pm when Hunter, 36, yelled out to them – “Hey AJ” – an army insult, meaning “army jerk”.

He said: “I’m going to kill you and your missus and burn your house down.”

When the neighbours looked around, Hunter yelled: “Don’t look over here, I’ll stab you in the (expletive) eye.

“I can’t wait to be back in the lock-up tonight after I kill you both.”

The couple were terrified and rushed inside their home, where they locked the door and called police.

Crown Prosecutor Kathleen Christopherson said Hunter’s neighbours had lived in their home for five years and had done extensive renovations, but moved out after the threat.

“They feel uncomfortable in their home,” Ms Christopherson said.

“They feel they’ve been forced to move home.”

Ms Christopherson said Hunter had previously abused and threatened his neighbours.

“This incident was an aggressive, anti-social and frightening one for the complainants who were just sitting at home minding their own business,” she said.

Hunter, who had limited criminal history, pleaded guilty to threatening violence.

He was placed on a $1000 good behaviour bond for two years.

Judge Deborah Richards declined to impose a restraining order as the victims had left town.

Defence lawyer Caroline Cavanagh said the neighbours had been annoyed about noise related to Hunter’s entertainment business and he had become frustrated by their constant renovations.

“There were ill feelings both ways,” Ms Cavanagh said.

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