This case study was originally published on the West Midlands RJ Hub
Harmed (Homeowner) / Harmer (private tenant).
Harmed had preconceptions about harmer prior to him renting the property next door, as he had been involved in a criminal damage many years before at the local pub.
This started when the harmed sent his builders round to the harmer’s address to look at the inside of their property at some recent work. The harmer’s wife was alone and wouldn’t allow them entry, they proceeded to look through the harmer’s window in to the living room, the harmer’s wife was in her dressing gown.
When the harmer returned from work, he was upset by his wife’s recall of events, and soon verbal altercations started between the two males. A number of calls were made to the Police from both parties, these included noise nuisance, the harmed filming the harmer, and one matter involved the harmer hitting the harmed over the head with a telephone directory. The final matter culminated in the harmer assaulting the harmed by soaking him with a hosepipe.
The harmed had been offered mediation in the past; he refused this as he felt the neighbour was unapproachable. When RJ was mentioned he initially refused, stating he wanted an injunction.
I explained the difference between RJ and mediation, and gave him time to think about it. The harmed understood, that only with the acceptance from the harmer to change his behaviour would mean a change to their whole way of living.
Both attended conference, both realised how different events had affected the way they behaved towards each other. The harmer apologised for the assault and the ASB, which had started due to the way his wife had relayed to him the initial visit from the builder’s 6 years before. Both discussed the preconceived ideas the harmed had of the harmer, with the harmer being able to convey that although he had been ‘a bit of a one’ in the past, he was actually an approachable hard working man.
Both shook hands at the end of the conference and agreed to put their differences behind them and move forward.
During a follow up call to the harmed he stated his neighbour had been ‘as quiet as a mouse’. There have been no further calls for service since 2017.