A Dunedin man who labelled his neighbours "narks" and threatened to bury them in his garden has been jailed for 18 months.

Erin Robin Bishop embarked on a week of threatening behaviour, which began on Christmas Eve last year.

The 48-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of intimidation and one of threatening to kill before his appearance in the Dunedin District Court this week.

It took his tally for such convictions to more than a dozen, and Judge Thomas Ingram noted Bishop also had 12 instances of violence on his record.


"He's got a shocking record for this kind of thing. I don't know if I've ever seen one quite like this," he said.

"He's been at it all his life. He's 48 and he's still up to this sort of carry-on."

Relations became strained between the South Dunedin neighbours in mid-2016 but matters came to a head more than a year later.

Bishop came home on December 24 to find the female victim outside her home.

After calling her a "nark", the defendant told her: "I'll finish you for good, one good hit to the head and one good kick, you'll be out."

Bishop was so close to her when he made the threat the woman could smell his breath, she said.

Four days later, the woman's partner was the target of his anger.

"Your fat slut wife better watch her back 'cause she's going down," Bishop told the man as he arrived home.


"You're nothing but a nark, you deserve to be taken out and have your head kicked in."

The campaign of fear continued with the victims' children present.

''If I'm going down, then you're going and I'm going to bury you in the garden. And I will ... I'm not scared ... jail means nothing to me. I'll just get out again and at least know I've done my job,'' Bishop said.

Judge Ingram said the comments had caused the victims to genuinely fear for their lives.

On December 30, Bishop vented his ire online.

He posted photos of the couple on Facebook alongside the words: "These two snitches need to end up in ditches".

The victims temporarily moved from their home as a result, the court heard.

Defence counsel Noel Rayner said his client had been on bail in Rotorua and re-established the bond with his family. He urged the court to impose home detention so Bishop could continue strengthening those links.

But Judge Ingram said the defendant's efforts to change his life were "far too little, far too late".

"This man needs to get it through his head: you do this type of thing, you get a good long sentence," he said.