Family feels 'unsafe' with alleged intruder back next door on bail

Last updated 13:00 10/07/2014

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A Marlborough father is furious that a neighbour who allegedly broke into his home and sat on his 12-year-old daughter's bed while she was asleep has been bailed back to his home.

The accused man appeared in Blenheim District Court on Monday.

The father ssaid he found out that the man had returned home only when he saw a car parked next door later in the day.

"No-one asked me . . . that's the most disappointing part," he said. "I've had no consultation from the court and when I got home I saw [a] car and I thought ‘well how does that work'?"

The man, 20, who has name suppression, is charged with entering a building without authority and with intent to commit an imprisonable offence.

The father said his daughter woke on Saturday to a man sitting on the side of her bed, near her head.

"She said he said ‘I was just cycling home and I thought I would pop in and say hello'. I asked her why she didn't scream and she said she was too petrified."

She got him to leave then ran into her parents' room "in a real panic" saying the man from next door had been in her room, he said.

The father went around the house but could not see anyone, and asked her if she was certain.

"I asked her if she was 100 per cent sure because it's a big accusation to make."

When she said she was sure, he rang police straight away. They came to his house with "tracker dogs", he said.

His daughter stayed at a friend's house on Tuesday and Wednesday night after finding out the man was back living next door, her father said.

He went to Blenheim police station on Tuesday so his daughter could make a statement and to raise his concerns about the man being next door. He had thought he was told by an officer that police had opposed bail, but on reflection may have been told some bail conditions were opposed.

Prosecutor Jason Munro told the Express yesterday that police had not opposed bail, and the bail conditions set "should be effective to deter further offence and keep the victim safe", he said.

Tasman police district communications manager Barbara Dunn said police were "more than happy" with the bail conditions.

The man must reside at his home address under curfew and he was not to associate with the family or trespass on their property, Dunn said.

However, the father said he felt his family was not safe while the man continued to live next door, using their shared driveway.

"I can't live here and have him living next door.

"It's just not fair.

"My daughters are terrified. One of them won't go up the hallway by herself.

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"My kids can't bike up and down the driveway now because his house is right there."

He understood the man had special needs and lived at home with family members.

"It's not right when I can't absolutely, 100 per cent say [to my daughters] that they will be safe. I'm the prisoner."

The accused man is due to reappear in court on July 21.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said it was up to police to contact the victims after the first appearance and the victim adviser would be in touch after every subsequent appearance.

Dunn said police believed it was up to the court to get in touch with the victims.

She said they were trying to establish who was responsible for contacting the family.

- The Marlborough Express

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