Poo, paint thrown at war vet’s house

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - KATE PARASKEVOS AND BRITT RAM­SEY

A GOLD Coast war veteran is liv­ing in fear af­ter re­peated at­tacks on his Par­adise Point home.

In­ci­dents in­clude hate mail, fae­ces smeared on his win­dows, paint thrown on his drive­way and an ac­cu­sa­tion of meal poi­son­ing.

Fred­er­ick Grif­fiths, 97, has lived in his Par­adise Point home for 40 years and said ha­rass­ment was now keep­ing him awake at night.

“I’m ter­ri­fied of what could hap­pen next, it’s greatly af­fect­ing my life,” he said yes­ter­day.

“I’m an old man and I don’t want to go to my grave leav­ing this un­re­solved.

“It’s very up­set­ting and very drain­ing to have these things hap­pen­ing to me.”

Po­lice have con­firmed they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing an in­ci­dent in which fae­ces was smeared on Mr Grif­fiths’ slid­ing door, but he has also re­ported other ha­rass­ment to po­lice on seven sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions.

They in­clude in­ci­dents in which poi­son was thrown on his front lawn, let­ters were stolen from his let­ter box, some­one was bang­ing loudly on his win­dow late at night, and white paint was poured on his drive­way, cost­ing him $480 to re­pair.

He said some­one had been hired to rip up his gar­den, to pour con­crete and es­tab­lish a two-me­tre fence across the win­dow, which he said brought up painful mem­o­ries.

“Two front end load­ers and a big skip ar­rived, took off all my peb­bles, two big rocks and cleared my front side gar­den,” he said.

“Two men mea­sured up and came along with rail­ings and put the fence there, which was pretty ter­ri­ble to me.

“I’d been in an air raid in Eng­land and it was ter­ri­fy­ing – the worst ever I think.’’

Mr Grif­fiths has since had the fence re­moved.

Fight­ing back tears, Mr Grif­fiths said he had seen “lit­tle chil­dren at a school cling­ing to a sim­i­lar fence while their school was burn­ing – they hadn’t been evac­u­ated.”

A po­lice spokes­woman said in­ves­ti­ga­tions were con­tin­u­ing on the fae­ces smear but could not con­firm the other al­leged po­lice re­ports of ha­rass­ment.

“It feels like some­one is try­ing to push me out,” Mr Grif­fiths said.

He said peo­ple had asked him to sell sell to them but he had said no.

“Then things started to hap­pen,’’ he said.

The former army me­chanic, who served for two years in North Africa in World War II and in post­sur­ren­der Ger­many, said the at­tacks made him fear­ful and on edge in his own home.

In April the coun­cil had to step in to help when some­one kept park­ing mo­torhomes out­side his du­plex and block­ing his view. Mr Grif­fiths had ex­plained that all he wanted at his age was to be able to gaze out his win­dow at the Broad­wa­ter and the boats.

Area coun­cil­lor Cameron Cald­well told the Bul­letin at the time the coun­cil would paint yel­low lines on the kerb out­side, mak­ing it il­le­gal to park there.

Mr Grif­fiths’ only son, Dr Grant Grif­fiths, lives in Syd­ney but has kept a de­tailed log of al­leged ha­rass­ment.

“Last year, some form of poi­son was thrown on to the lawn and hedge caus­ing rapid die-off,” he said. “A bot­tle of white paint was thrown on to the drive­way on June 29 and re­ported to po­lice.”

Dr Grif­fiths’ log in­cludes an in­ci­dent in 2016 when some­one phoned Meals on Wheels at Par­adise Point and com­plained his father should not re­ceive meals be­cause he “wasn’t old enough’’ – de­spite him be­ing 95 at the time. Then, in July 2017, a lid was loose on one of his meals and he be­came ill af­ter eat­ing it. Fear­ing at­tempted poi­son­ing, po­lice were called and in­ves­ti­gated.

Po­lice rec­om­mended that from then on, frozen sealed meals should be de­liv­ered di­rectly into Mr Grif­fiths’ hands each week.

Mr Grif­fiths told the Bul­letin this week he would not be pushed out of his home of 40 years, es­ti­mated to be worth around $700,000.

He said he had fought in one war and would fight “in an­other un­til the end’’.

IT’S VERY UP­SET­TING AND VERY DRAIN­ING TO HAVE THESE THINGS HAP­PEN­ING TO ME FRED­ER­ICK GRIF­FITHS

Pic­ture: RICHARD GOSLING

Fred­er­ick Grif­fiths, a 97-year-old war veteran, be­side his let­ter box, which was smeared with ex­cre­ment. The slid­ing doors be­hind him were also tar­geted, while his drive­way had paint thrown on it (right).

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