Legal Wrangling : Dealing with noise disputes between neighbours:

August 19, 2016
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Usain Bolt celebrates winning the men's 100 metres final inside the Olympic stadium, during the athletics competition at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday.
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There is a dispute between two neighbours over one of the results at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and one could face criminal charges.

According to one of the neighbours, he was very excited when Usain Bolt won the 100m race. He said he began shouting and he and his wife went to the gate and celebrated by shouting and knocking pot covers.

"While we were celebrating, my neighbour came to his gate and said, 'You ghetto people, stop the noise and go back into your house'," he explained.

"We ignored him and my neighbour began quarrelling that he had a headache and we were disturbing him. He said everybody in the housing scheme knew that Bolt won the race, they were happy for him, yet they did not see it fit to disturb their neighbours.

"We live in a gated community in St Andrew, and my neighbour kept on saying there were rules and we should obey them. He even remarked that if we wanted to celebrate, then we should have gone to Half-Way Tree with our pot covers.

"When I told him to go inside and stop provoking me, he continued commenting that I was a nuisance to the community and should move out and find a ghetto to live in. He said he hated people with ghetto mentality.

"I told him several times to shut his mouth, but he kept on commenting that we were displaying ghetto behaviour and disturbing the neighbours. My wife told me several times not to answer him.

"I must admit that I lost my temper and went up to his gate. I warned him that if he said one more word I was going to silence him.

"He said he was a big man and he was not afraid of me, so I cannot stop him from talking for his rights. He said I had no conscience or else I would not be behaving in such a rowdy manner in the community.

"I grabbed him by his shirt collar and was about to punch him in his face when my wife and my son dragged me away. I was still upset and I broke loose, ran back to where my neighbour was and dragged off his eyeglasses and punched him in the face. I stepped on his eyeglasses and broke them. He threatened to go to the police, and my wife and his wife have begged him to be lenient with me.

 

APOLOGISED

 

"I went to my neighbour the next day and told him I was very sorry for what I did. I told him I lost my temper and was truly sorry for what I did. He told me I was a grown man and I must control my temper and obey the rules of the community. I have offered to pay him for his eyeglasses and medical expenses. He said he had not yet decided how to deal with the matter. He said he went to the doctor and his nose was still swollen. I am just hoping that the matter is settled out of court," he said.

Your neighbour was within his rights to tell you that you were disturbing him. The committee rules state that you must behave in a manner so as not to disturb your neighbours. You must also be reminded that the Noise Abatement Act states that no sound during the night or day must be audible beyond a distance of 100 metres from the source. If your neighbour reports the matter to the police, you will be charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and malicious destruction of property. He can also sue you to recover the cost of the pair of eyeglasses as well as his medical expenses.

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