This case study was originally published on the West Midlands RJ Hub.
Mr Keane has lived at his property for the last 18 years he neighbour, he recently had a new neighbour Miss Jones who is 22 years old. Mr Keane is an elderly gentleman who is on medication for a variety of issues most notably for his breathing and lungs. Mr Keane started to smell cannabis whilst in his property one day and stated that he had trouble breathing, this continued for 6 months.
As it was a warm Mr Keane would have to open the windows, due to his problems breathing from the smell of cannabis. Mr Keane shut all the windows in his property. A few days later he saw his neighbour in the garden and decided to confront her about the use of cannabis and often loud noise coming from her property. As Mr Keane confronted her he was met with abusive and foul language from his neighbour, she also threaten to get another man to beat him up if he carried on complaining about the noise and the smell of cannabis which she denied.
Mr Keane enjoys fixing up his back garden which he shares with Miss Jones, but is afraid to leave his property in case he is confronted by his neighbour and her friend. The case was referred to our Restorative Justice team by Mr Keane’s housing officer. Our RJ Co-ordinator went out to visit both parties who agreed to meet with each other.
The meeting was held in a community centre not far from their residence, Mr Keane spoke first about the problems he was having with his breathing and how he sometimes felt like he was suffocating from the smell of cannabis coming into his property. Miss Jones then showed a great amount of remorse as she didn’t realise that what she called a “recreational activity” was causing so much damage to her neighbour’s health. She agreed not to smoke near the flat and apologised for the previous behaviour and stated she had been dealing with depression after losing her job.
Both made some agreements going forward one of which was they agreed to help fix up the shared back garden together. Mr Keane had experienced these issues for the past 6 months our RJ team was able to solve the issue in just over 3 weeks.