Rocks on roof frighten woman

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

An­other night, an­other ran­dom rock at­tack on Vi­o­let Wheeler’s home.

Over the past few months some­one has thrown more than 40 rocks on to the roof of the woman’s house in Te Mata Rd, where her house backs on to Have­lock North High School.

The rocks are usu­ally thrown on to her roof in the mid­dle of the night.

The 75-year-old is still liv­ing in fear as rocks con­tinue to rain on her roof dur­ing all hours of the night.

The Have­lock North res­i­dent has been ter­rorised for the past seven weeks and Flaxmere coun­cil­lor Henare O’Keefe wants it to stop.

“She is ef­fec­tively a pris­oner in her own home with a life sen­tence,” Mr O’Keefe said.

Mr O’Keefe took tunutunu (his mo­bile bar­be­cue) to Te Mata Rd last week­end in a bid to help bring the neigh­bour­hood to­gether.

“I feel for her. I think we can help. At the very least give her some moral sup­port.”

He said he hopes to rally the neigh­bours around Ms Wheeler.

Mr O’Keefe said police could not be ev­ery­where, they are un­der staffed and un­der re­sourced.

“I hope to bring the com­mu­nity to­gether so they can look out for one an­other and start self-polic­ing.”

He said, though this would hope­fully be an ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion, the best one was for the par­ents of the per­pe­tra­tors to take own­er­ship.

The most re­cent at­tack also saw lemons ripped off her trees, ap­ples thrown in her yard and a num­ber of “very rough” lime­stone rocks scat­tered around her prop­erty.

The at­tacks have been con­demned by se­nior cit­i­zen ser­vices Grey Power and Age Con­cern. Hast­ings Dis­trict coun­cil­lor and chair­man of Age Con­cern Have­lock North, Wayne Brad­shaw, said the at­tacks “defy logic“.

He said to do that to any­one, let alone a 75-year-old woman liv­ing alone, was ridicu­lous.

“There are scum­bags in our com­mu­nity tak­ing ad­van­tage of older peo­ple. They are vul­ner­a­ble to get­ting ripped off, scammed and abused. Many of them don’t speak up as they ‘don’t want to be a bother’.

“We need to change our at­ti­tude to­ward the elderly. Peo­ple for­get, when we were younger our par­ents took care of us . . . we need to re­turn the favour.”

Age Con­cern is happy to hear any con­cerns from older peo­ple or their car­ers, and can re­fer peo­ple to an el­der abuse spe­cial­ist.

Police have spo­ken to the woman’s neigh­bours and the ad­ja­cent school as part of their in­quiries. They have also been do­ing reg­u­lar pa­trols past the woman’s house at night.

In­spec­tor Karl Bauer­feind said police were keen to hear from any­one who had in­for­ma­tion about who was re­spon­si­ble for the rock throw­ing.

“The of­fend­ers are likely to have bragged about it to their friends or even videoed it, so we’d like to speak to any­one who has heard some­thing about it.”

Con­tact Con­sta­ble Deb Potter on (06) 831-0700.

Age Con­cern Have­lock North can be con­tacted on 877-6488.

We need to change our at­ti­tude to­ward the elderly. Peo­ple for­get, when we were younger our par­ents took care of us . . . we need to re­turn the favour.’ — WAYNE BRAD­SHAW

TER­RORISED: Vi­o­let Wheeler, 75, has been get­ting rocks and stones thrown on to her roof in Have­lock North at night.

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