BITTER RIVALS: Pacific Haven neighbours Emanual Van Dijk and Allan Thrush face-off in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court.
BITTER RIVALS: Pacific Haven neighbours Emanual Van Dijk and Allan Thrush face-off in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court.

Grumpy grandpa neighbours wrestle at school bus stop

A DEFIANT retiree has lost the latest round against his rival neighbour after a bus-stop brawl landed the pair in court.

Allan Stanley Thrush, 63, yesterday pleaded not-guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to public nuisance.

The charge stemmed from an argument at Pacific Haven last year which the court heard ended in the accused and his neighbour Emanual Van Dijk wrestling on the ground.

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The fight took place in front of Mr Van Dijk's young grand-daughters who were waiting for their school bus.

Much of the brief trial centred around video footage captured on Thrush's glasses which were fitted with a camera.

He was wearing the glasses when he rode past Mr Van Dijk on his electric bike.

After seeing Mr Van Dijk stick his middle finger up - something the court heard was a common action on his part - Thrush turned his bike and confronted his long-standing enemy and asked whether he had called his wife a "dickhead".

An enraged Mr Van Dijk can be seen pointing his finger and wearing while denying abusing Thrush's wife.

The footage does not show what happens next.

Mr Van Dijk told the court "he came at me with a pushbike - I had no choice but to hit him.

"My grand-daughter was absolutely petrified, she was screaming," Mr Van Dijk said.

"He got up and said 'do you want to fight me' and I said 'It's up to you'.

Defence lawyer Travis George suggested his client was acting in self-defence.

He said his client had approached Thrush with a quiet and calm voice and it was Mr Van Dijk who had leaned forward to throw the first punch and even armed himself with a stick.

He also claimed there was no evidence of Mr Van Dijk's grand-daughters screaming on the video and put the discrepancy down to either a 'faulty memory or dishonesty".

Both men were issued public nuisance tickets over the scuffle. Only Thrush contested the fine.

Magistrate Stephen Guttridge ultimately accepted Mr Van Dijk's version.

Thrush was fined $400.

A conviction was not recorded.



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