Saturday, December 26

Christmas Eve Vandals.

I think this is an extra ordinary story. I am currently house sitting for a friend who is in the USA. I generally sleep in the house, feed the cat, empty the letter box, check the pool, do a few gardening jobs and generally enjoy the peace and tranquility.

On Christmas Eve I arrived at the house around 8 pm as I had been to a few Christmas celebrations (and not a drop of alcohol to drink as I was driving), and did my usual check, fed the cat.

Strangely I noticed pool toys IN the pool. The pool had been clear when I left earlier in the day. I wandered around and found the fence broken. About eight palings (timber fence pieces) removed and some broken. I went inside the house and phoned the owner's son, who suggested I call the police.

Now he and I knew that some neighbours had been given permission to use the pool, but there is only one access to the pool, via the back of the house. There are side gates but they are not locked. In this state we have stringent pool safety rules, too.

However, I chose to get a closer look at the damage before I phoned the police, (who probably would take no action on Christmas Eve anyway as it was not a major crime!) and I climbed through the hole in the fence. I came across some 8 people sitting around a table enjoying the Christmas spirit. I asked them about the damaged fence and they laughed. It had been them. Now these are not kids. Average age I would put at 60 years. They thought it was a huge joke. My hostess had given the lady permission to swim, and I would imagine she'd accept the additional guests too - but smashing their way in??? I know not!

I "suggested" they fix the fence that night, and if there was any court procedure relating to the damaged fence (a child drowning, the owner prosecuted for breaking the pool safety rules (and they do do random checks), I suggested they prepare for their day in court. I then departed. Unamused!

Later I heard some hammering, and the next day I found their rudimentary attempt at repairs. Clearly with four of the fence palings smashed, they were unlikely to be able to completely repair the damage.

As it is, there is likely to be a court case over it - the owners will arrange for the fence to be prepared professionally and the neighbours will be billed. If they don't pay happily - they will be sued.

I'm now waiting for someone to make the pool secure again.

Stupid lazy, (probably drunk) neighbours! Kids? No! Adults, who clearly should have known better.

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