A group of pensioners living at a sheltered housing complex in Bournemouth have launched a petition to have their 69-year-old neighbour removed from his flat. The petition comes after a series of disagreements between David Rae, who lives in one of the 54 flats at Fenwick Court, and his neighbours. The most recent incident, which inspired the petition for his removal, is alleged to have occurred in the communal laundry room at the flats between Mr Rae and his neighbour Paul Prince. Mr Prince, 74, noticed that one of the two machines was not working properly while he was in the middle of his washing. “I put a note on the machine to say it was out of order so that the other residents didn’t try and use it,” explained Mr Prince.
“While I was sorting out my clothes another man came in the laundry room and tried to use the broken machine.
I pointed out the note to him and tried to explain it was broken.
In response I was subject to the foulest verbal abuse I have ever experienced in my life.
He started to hit and punch the machines and turned around to face me with his fists raised. He was scaring me to death.
Fortunately I am quite quick and have 31 years of karate experience so I was able to get out of the way and close the laundry room door on him.”
Mr Prince reported the incident to the police but following an investigation have said there was insufficient evidence to initiate criminal proceedings.
A Dorset Police spokesman said: “The local Neighbourhood Policing Team are however working with partner agencies to resolve any ongoing tensions and issues at the address.”
Unbeknownst to Mr Prince this was not the first time David Rae had come to blows with his neighbours.
In June last year Mr Rae was found guilty of punching his elderly neighbour Stanley Smith after he found him watering planted baskets with a hosepipe rather than a sprinkler nozzle in the communal gardens of the flats.
At the time Mr Smith needed hospital treatment and the court was shown photos of his bruised and bloodied head.
Fellow Fenwick Court resident Brian Loton, 82, launched the petition following the most recent incident and so far around half of the residents living at the complex have signed.
He said: “It’s such a shame because Fenwick Court is one of the nicest places to live in Bournemouth but it is being ruined by this issue.
We are all retired people who are just trying to enjoy a peaceful life but unfortunately a number of residents who live here are now dubious about using the laundry room.
Something has to be done by the council.”
Seamus Doran, tenancy services manager at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “The council is aware of ongoing issues between neighbours at Fenwick Court.
We took legal action in the past to try and resolve these but there are no recent incidents that we are aware of that require a similar course of action.
However we will be working to try and resolve this situation within the near future.”
Mr Rae was unable for comment.