John Weekes

John Weekes is an NZME. News Service reporter based in Wellington.

Dirty tactics as real estate spat turns nasty

Court sequel warning for agents after disgusting delivery

Grant Tucker is accused of sending poo in the post. Photo / Doug Sherring
Grant Tucker is accused of sending poo in the post. Photo / Doug Sherring

A bitter dispute between rival real estate agents selling homes in swanky Central Auckland suburbs is having its sequel in court.

One agent is accused of posting poo and targeting the other with a foul-mouthed phone call.

Grant Campbell Tucker, of Freemans Bay, appeared in Auckland District Court this week on charges under the Postal Services Act and Telecommunications Act.

He was accused of posting an article containing faeces "without reasonable excuse" on March 6.

Tucker, 57, faced a second charge of using obscene language over the phone to intentionally offend his rival Jonathan Charles Wills on February 16.

Tucker is a director of Netrealty. Wills, of Westmere, is director of Custom Residential. Both sell homes in Auckland's priciest neighbourhoods such as Mt Eden, Herne Bay and Grey Lynn.

Wills said the package was sent to his lawyer David Beard at the Queen St offices of his law firm, Legal Street. The pair were mystified about why the package had been sent.

Beard alleged a letter in the package was written on the letterhead of Tucker's company and the package also contained broken glass. "Seriously, who sends anyone a parcel of faeces and broken glass?" Beard said yesterday. "Who does it? No one. I've never heard of it in 15 years' practice.

"What if my junior had opened that package and cut herself? She could have got hepatitis, anything," he added.

Beard said he took the disgusting delivery to the police. "We opened the package out on the steps at the Auckland Central station. I was gagging over the side."

Neither party would outline the background to the dispute but Tucker said the charges were the result of an issue blown out of proportion. "We had a falling out and he seems to be bitter," said Tucker. He also claimed there was a campaign of sorts to silence him after raising concerns about improper behaviour in the industry.

Tucker wasn't sure if a reconciliation was possible. He said he was yet to decide how he would plead but would follow legal advice.

Beard said Wills just wanted to move on and the issue was not blown out of proportion, just taken seriously.

"I don't think there's any difference in someone sending a packet of smallpox virus to the Pentagon to him sending the package he sent me to my office."

Posting poo or a noxious substance, including a dead animal, without reasonable excuse is an offence punishable by a fine up to $5,000. Prosecutions for posting such materials are rare. In 2002, a Manawatu courier driver who opened a mailbox found a parcel of poo had burst, soiling other mail. The culprit was not located.

- Herald on Sunday

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