Feuding neighbours 'both rogues' - Judge

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Visiting Judge Lindsay Moore told the Greymouth District Court yesterday that two feuding neighbours should be put in a sack and tossed in the Grey River.

Judge Moore described the protagonists as "two people, each with an intense dislike for each other, each with a strong motivation to distort what happened".

Craig Gary Smith, 43, recently successfully defended a charge of threatening and intimidating Daniel Outram during a row over a shared driveway, at Cobden on January 12.

On that occasion Judge Robert Murfitt said he did not know who to believe: "I am unable to find in favour of Mr Smith or Mr Outram, can't distinguish between the evidence of one party or the other."

Yesterday, Judge Moore heard the second half of the case, Smith having laid an assault charge against Outram, and consequently agreed with his fellow judge.

"Frankly one gets the sense that they are both rogues," Judge Moore said.

Smith had been arrogant and inconsiderate by parking in the shared driveway, and Outram had overreacted.

"It's the sort of situation where most sensible people would want the two of them put in a bag and tossed in the Grey River."

Smith had contended that Outram had picked up a 5m length of timber and struck him across the back of the neck with it, knocking him out.

Outram said he picked up the timber for protection when Smith and his adult son had advanced on him in a menacing fashion. He was trying to ward them off when the plank had connected with Smith by accident. It barely touched him, he was not knocked out but ran inside to phone police.

Judge Moore said Smith's son might have shed some light on the matter but neither the police nor defence had called him.

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