A Kāpiti pharmacist who doused his neighbour in petrol and threatened to burn down his house because he was partying too loudly has been hauled before a disciplinary tribunal.

Scott Bowman pleaded guilty in 2018 to common assault and doing a threatening act, and was sentenced to community work.

The offending relates to one evening in 2017, when Bowman's Paraparaumu neighbours were having a loud party.

The neighbours had moved into the semi-rural area in 2012, and were described in the police summary of facts as "highly social", often having gatherings at their home. This caused issues with noise over the next five years.


The night of the offending, Bowman's wife had asked the neighbours to turn down their music about 11.30pm, and the couple had called noise control, who took no action.

About midnight, Bowman went to the neighbour's home with a container of petrol and a box of matches, telling the occupants of the house he would burn the house down if they didn't lower the noise level.

He then doused his neighbour in petrol, and a struggle ensued. The neighbour was eventually covered from head to toe in petrol, the summary said.

Another man who came to the neighbour's rescue also became covered in petrol.

Bowman was restrained until police arrived and arrested him.

Bowman was a registered pharmacist, who co-owned and operated the Paraparaumu Beach Pharmacy with his wife.

Several weeks after the incident, the two victims emailed the Pharmacy Council to complain about his conduct, and four months later the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) was appointed to investigate.

This investigation was put on hold until the criminal charges were dealt with by the courts.


Tribunal hearing

Bowman's case was called before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in Wellington this morning, where lawyers argued over his fitness to practise as a pharmacist.

In his brief of evidence provided to the tribunal, Bowman said he and his wife decided to move to New Zealand from the UK in the early 2000s, having seen it in Lord of the Rings.

He described how they built their dream home on a half a hectare section and wanted the "quiet life", living there for about five years without incident until the new neighbours moved in.

The new neighbours were "very social people", whose gatherings would often spill out on to the deck, which had outdoor speakers.

"The deck faced the bedrooms of our home, and as a result my family's sleep was often disturbed," he said.

They tried to resolve the noise issues through "amicable means", asking the neighbours to keep their parties inside after midnight. While the neighbours initially complied, the "small courteous gestures dwindled", and the relationship between the two groups deteriorated.

Over the next five years, the Bowman family bought custom-made earplugs, tried sleeping in other areas of the house, and called noise control. They would also text the neighbours to tell them the noise was too loud, but the messages were either ignored or not answered until the morning.

He said he "just snapped" on the night of the offending, and acted out of "desperation".

"All I wanted to do was send a message - that enough was enough," he said in his statement.

"The petrol can was simply a threat at this point to get their attention. I would never dream of setting their house alight.

"In my desperation and frustration, I did not stop to think my actions through . . . I am deeply sorry for the distress my actions have caused."

Mental torture

A letter from Bowman's lodger, who lived in a flat downstairs, also said the music was often so loud "that it was vibrating through the walls of my bedroom".

She said the parties would often start about 9pm and go as late as 7am.

"It became a form of mental torture," she wrote.

After the incident, she questioned "how far would a normal easygoing family man have to be pushed and for how long before resorting to this kind of act".

Since the offending, Bowman has undergone counselling and has seen a clinical psychologist, who helped him put in place stress management plans and techniques.

The tribunal censured Bowman and imposed conditions on him that he attend six sessions with a psychologist and provide a written statement reflecting on the case.

He was ordered to pay 35 per cent of the costs for the investigation and hearing.