Brisbane neighbours have been blasted by a judge over their lengthy court case about wind chimes


An virtually decade-long stoush between neighbours over noise from wind chimes has ended with a judge irritated the households couldn’t “just be adults”.

A marathon neighbour dispute has ended with a judge complaining the just about decade-long stoush over the sound of wind chimes ought to have by no means come to court.

The seemingly harmless exercise of hanging wind chimes in a suburban yard sparked an ongoing battle between the Bicknell and Coleman households at their canal-side properties in Brisbane’s east.

While the feud resulted in 2016 when the Bicknell’s left their property, the matter dragged on by way of Brisbane’s courts with allegations of assault, trespass and personal nuisance flung between the events.

Judge Nathan Jarro took purpose at Russell Graham Coleman, Natalie Eileen Bicknell and her husband David John Bicknell when he dismissed their declare and counterclaim within the District Court of Queensland.

“Neighbourly relations can be fraught and fragile and it is a pity when people cannot just be adults and get on with it,” he stated.

“This a case where credit looms large and there are concerns about the credibility and reliability of the evidence of all witnesses as each of them has engaged in conduct which reflects poorly upon them.”

Mr Coleman’s case

The Bicknell household was accused of hanging noisy wind chimes in their yard in January 2012 by Mr Coleman.

Mr Coleman stated one set of the chimes remained there for about two years earlier than the Bicknell’s added one other, however they denied that a further chime was added.

He had a temporary respite when one of many wind chimes was mysteriously glued collectively stopping it from making any noise.

Mr Coleman stated the decorations had been so loud it was “discordant, annoying and irksome”, and he was so upset by them he had solicitors ship a letter of demand to his neighbours in 2014.

However, the chimes nonetheless rang and Mr Coleman reported his neighbours to Redland City Council with a noise grievance.

At its worst, Mr Coleman stated the sound of the chimes had stopped him from sleeping, and he was required to maneuver his sick spouse to the opposite facet of the home as a result of noise.

The court additionally heard on the listening to in September this yr, that Mr Coleman claimed a number of wind chimes had been positioned on the dividing wall between their properties and that there was a “mechanical” wind chime noise performed when there was no wind. The Bicknells denied this.

Judge Jarro stated after watching a video filmed from the again of Mr Coleman’s property the wind chimes weren’t notably loud.

“I am not persuaded that the noise I heard from the tendered recordings would be the actual noise a person would normally hear because to me, the baseline level of sound from all sources were louder than would normally be expected,” he stated.

“In the recordings, the wind chimes only produced noise when tree branches were moving (indicative of wind gust) but some occasions when there was tree movement, no noise was generated.”

The Bicknells’ case

The Bicknell household, who left their Birkdale dwelling in 2016, filed a counterclaim in opposition to Mr Coleman.

The declare centred round three allegations of personal nuisance, trespass, assault. None of those allegations had been confirmed in Brisbane District Court.

The Bicknells claimed, in proof associated to the personal nuisance declare, that Mr Coleman and his late spouse Mrs Coleman made “loud unreasonable noise” and threatened their youngsters.

The claims of “unreasonable noise” included allegations of banging noises beneath the Bicknell youngsters’s home windows, enjoying bin drums at 11pm, blasting loud music at five-second intervals, and honking their automotive horns at 11.30pm.

The Bicknells claimed that the Colemans’ son additionally retaliated by yelling loudly at night time and antagonising the Bicknell household canine.

Mrs Coleman was accused of threatening the Bicknell youngsters and their pals. The Bicknells claimed she would swear on the youngsters and threaten to set her “vicious German Shepherd guard dogs” on them in the event that they got here close to her pontoon.

Their declare of trespass centres round proof that one of many wind chimes was destroyed, bins had been knocked over and the Bicknells’ dwelling was egged.

The Bicknells claimed on three events, from October 2013 to January 2014, three wind chimes had been glued, minimize down and brought.

In their proof they stated Coleman Jr knocked over the bins on their property and on November 1 2015 their dwelling was egged.

The court discovered there was not sufficient proof to show that these had been finished by the Coleman household.

The final declare issued by the Bicknells was an allegation of assault which was additionally dismissed.

Mr and Mrs Bicknell claimed on November 12, 2015, the Colemans made bodily and verbal threats to them. These included threatening pointing, aggressively shining a torch and the Coleman’s son ripping off his shirt.

When the dispute was featured in a 2016 episode of A Current Affair, the Bicknells claimed they had been going through monetary wreck over the authorized battle, which they stated had compelled them to maneuver out of their dream dwelling and price as much as $60,000 in authorized charges.

What Judge Jorro stated

The judge was scathing in his ultimate remarks, telling each events such a matter shouldn’t be earlier than the court earlier than dismissing their claims.

“As is apparent from the facts and evidence of this case, these proceedings should never have been brought to trial at all. It should never have escalated as it did,” he stated.

“The plaintiff’s claim is dismissed. The defendants’ counterclaim is also dismissed. Subject to any contrary submissions from the parties, there will be no order as to costs.”

Judge Jarro additionally stated it was tough to take both of the events’ proof as they every had “skin in the game”.

“Neighbourly relations can be fraught and fragile and it is a pity when people cannot just be adults and get on with it,” he stated.

“This a case where credit looms large and there are concerns about the credibility and reliability of the evidence of all witnesses as each of them has engaged in conduct which reflects poorly upon them.

“Suitably submitted by Mr Hackett of Counsel who appeared for the plaintiff (and defendants by counterclaim), all of them have ‘skin in the game’.”

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