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Neighbour admits threatening conduct

Last updated 14:54 23/08/2013

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A 43-year-old former Alexandra man who threatened his neighbours with a chainsaw has admitted his actions were "over the top".

Martyn Douglas Upston appeared before Judge John Macdonald in the Alexandra District Court, where he admitted charges of threatening behaviour and intimidation by threatening to damage property on July 25.

Upston had been at home listening to his stereo when the neighbours called noise control because they were concerned about the level of the music.

Once noise control arrived, he and his partner, Freda Marion Watts, 27, began hurling abuse at the neighbours, and Upston threatened to "sort them out". They threw stones at their neighbours' house and began thumping on the walls.

Upston, still annoyed the neighbours had called noise control instead of asking him personally to turn the music down, revved up his chainsaw and pointed it to his neighbour, who was standing at the window looking out through a gap in the blinds, and began moving it in an up-and-down motion.

Lawyer Tim Cadogan said Upston suffered from ADHD and his impulsive behaviour was because he had not been taking his medication at the time.

Upston said he had moved to Central Otago to get away from Christchurch, "the hectic city", but got off on the wrong foot after moving to the area.

"I did go a little bit over the top. I have to take responsibility for it," he said.

The judge sentenced Upston to 120 hours' community work.

He was also remanded to reappear in court on September 12 after being charged with a historic burglary on Anzac Day.

Upston allegedly broke into a house where families were staying and stole several items, including a cellphone.

Watts also pleaded guilty to a charge of intimidation by threatening to damage property from the incident and receiving stolen goods on April 25.

She was remanded on bail for sentencing in the Christchurch District Court on November 7, when she will also be sentenced for trespassing, breaching community work and theft.

In separate sentencing, Matthew Michael Smith, 21, plumber, was fined $200 for offensive behaviour likely to cause violence on June 15.

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- The Southland Times

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