Duo find security in the city

HANNAH SPYKSMA
Last updated 15:16 11/11/2011
Lindsay Curnow
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax NZ

MORE THAN WORDS: Lindsay Curnow with one of the anti-gay slogan on the wall of her Mangawhai home.

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Hate crimes have forced a couple from Northland to move back to the safety and security of their old Auckland neighbourhood.

It is a bittersweet time for Lindsay Curnow and Juliet Leigh who return to live in the Waitemata community this week.

The couple wasn't planning on moving back to the city for another five years, but has had enough of the constant attacks to their home in Mangawhai Heads.

"We just looked at each other and thought we should just cut our losses," Ms Curnow says.

Their decision follows a year of horrific vandalism and arson attacks to their property.

In January Ms Curnow and Ms Leigh were the victim of a crime which saw their business Blooming Bulbs torched to the ground.

As well as destroying the business and the building, many of the couple's family photos and memories were lost in the fire.

Anti gay slogans were also slurred all over the walls of their property.

It was an attack which shocked the small Mangawhai community of 1200 and to date has left police stumped to find someone responsible.

Determined not to let the attacks get the better of them, the couple remained positive and hopeful that the crime would be solved.

But the final straw was drawn in July when the culprit returned and poured paint stripper on every panel of their car.

"That was absolutely freaky," Ms Curnow, who was home alone at the time of the attack, says.

She believes the attacker must have been watching their property. "There must have been a window of opportunity for them."

Ms Curnow has not slept well since that attack.

To make things worse, insurance has barely covered the ongoing attacks, because of a technicality with their seaside property.

The couple, who are both in their mid-60s, are wanting to move on.

Despite everything they've been through, the couple still say they aren't going to let the uncommon crimes ruin their future.

"We're not going to hide in a hole and be all depressed - we've chosen to move on with the next chapter of our lives," Ms Curnow says.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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