O'Keefe to curb rock throwers

By Jonathan Dine

6 comments
Henare O'Keefe will do his part to ease the angst of Havelock North woman Violet Wheeler who has been subject to rock attacks.
Henare O'Keefe will do his part to ease the angst of Havelock North woman Violet Wheeler who has been subject to rock attacks.

Another night, another random rock attack on Violet Wheeler's home.

The 75-year-old is still living in fear as rocks continue to rain on her roof during all hours of the night.

The Havelock North resident has been terrorised for the past seven weeks and Flaxmere councillor Henare O'Keefe wants it to stop.

"She is effectively a prisoner in her own home with a life sentence," Mr O'Keefe said.

Mr O'Keefe will take tunutunu (his mobile barbecue) to Te Mata Rd this weekend in a bid to help bring the neighbourhood together.

"I feel for her. I think we can help. At the very least give her some moral support."

He said he hopes to turn up, start cooking and rally the neighbours around Ms Wheeler.

Mr O'Keefe said police can't be everywhere, they are under staffed and under resourced.

"I hope to bring the community together so they can look out for one another and start self policing."

He said although this will hopefully be an effective solution, the best one was for the parents of the perpetrators to take ownership.

Monday night's attack also saw lemons ripped off her trees, apples thrown in her yard and a number of "very rough" limestone rocks scattered around her property.

The attacks have been condemned by senior citizen services Grey Power and Age Concern.

Grey Power Hastings and Districts Association president Marie Dunningham said the attacks were dangerous and cruel. She labelled the attackers cowards.

Hastings District councillor and chairman of Age Concern Havelock North, Wayne Bradshaw, said the attacks "defy logic". He said to do that to anyone, let alone a 75-year-old woman living alone, was ridiculous.

"We need to change our attitude toward the elderly because, God willing, we're all going to get there one day."

Police have spoken to the woman's neighbours and the adjacent school as part of their inquiries. They have also been doing regular patrols past the woman's house at night.

Inspector Karl Bauerfeind said police were keen to hear from anyone who had information about who was responsible for the rock throwing. "The offenders are likely to have bragged about it to their friends or even videoed it, so we'd like to speak to anyone who has heard something about it."

Contact Constable Deb Potter on 06 831 0700.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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