PICTOU - An ongoing dispute between neighbors in the Little Harbour area has resulted in the court ordering a year long cool down period.
After hearing a joint recommendation by the Crown and defence, Provincial Court Judge Del Atwood sentenced brothers Allister Edward Hemphill and Nicholas Russell Scott Hemphill to 12-month long orders that state they must stay away from a neighbor.
Twenty-six-year-old Allister and 23-year-old Nicholas were facing two charges of assault causing bodily harm, uttering threats, mischief and criminal harassment stemming from an alleged incident in March in Plymouth.
The men were slated for trial Tuesday, but ended up pleading guilty to one count each and the Crown offering no evidence on the other charges. Allister pleaded guilty to a mischief charge while Nicholas pleaded guilty to an amended uttering threats charge.
Crown Attorney Bill Gorman said the charges stem from incident on March 12 when RCMP were called to the Blue Acres Esso to investigate a complaint from the victim that two men smashed the window of his truck and were headed to his home.
When RCMP arrived, a station attendant was cleaning up the glass, but the victim was nowhere to be found. They viewed the videotape and witnessed Allister and Nicholas walking towards the victim’s truck that was at the gas pumps.
“Allister took a wood item and struck the (driver’s) side window of the truck, believed to be the glass,” Gorman said.
Gorman said the victim walked into the service station and called 911 after the incident. He said the victim was reluctant at first to give police a statement, but did so on March 21 in addition to providing some history between the two families.
He told police he had known the Hemphills most of his life and the relationship had deteriorated over time.
In March, the incidents escalated to the Hemphills pointing fingers and shaking fists at him or running their fingers across their throat whenever they passed each other on the road.
Defence lawyer Joel Pink said the relationship between the Hemphills and the victim actually started to deteriorate in May 2012 when the victim struck Allister with bags of lobster on Sinclair’s Wharf.
A few months later, the Hemphills say they lost their job because the victim told their employer they were “liars”, “cheats” and “thieves” and at the first of March the Hemphills said the victim was heard calling them degrading names.
“All of this instigated what happened on March 12,” Pink said. “They wanted to know why he told their employer they were liars, cheats and thieves.”
Pink said a peace bond could have settled the issue, but a court order would hold more weight when it comes to getting these men to stay away from each other.
Allister was sentenced to 12 months probation and must pay $300 restitution as well as a $50 victim surcharge fine while Nicholas was handed a 12-month conditional discharge in addition to a $50 victim surcharge fine.
Both men were ordered to stay away from the victim and his wife during the next 12 months.