Wednesday July 30, 2014





Neighbour dispute ‘boils,’ judge suggests

Bricks hurled, profanities fly

A woman who claims she was assaulted by her neighbour in a dispute over property boundaries testified Tuesday she “still wants to make peace with this family.”

But Lynn Burgess also told a provincial court trial that her next-door neighbour in Brocklehurst should “leave my yard, leave my kids alone.”

Her neighbour, Mary Onufreychuk, 36, is charged with assault and theft under $5,000 after an incident with Burgess in March last year.

Burgess has been convicted in past of assault against Onufreychuk and on another occasion pleaded guilty to slashing her neighbour’s tires.

“There’s a kind of madness that goes with neighbour disputes,” remarked Judge Stella Frame.

“It boils. People would never conduct themselves they way they would outside that dispute.”

Evan Goulet, a Crown articling student, said at the opening of the trial he would call evidence showing Onufreychuk “was upset about small plastic borders that Ms. Burgess placed on her property line.”

Burgess testified she was on her driveway at Ryan Place in late March rolling on asphalt sealant when Onufreychuk pulled up.

At first, Burgess said Onufreychuk said she didn’t like driving around several bricks that Burgess placed at the end of her driveway while doing the work. Burgess said Onufreychuk yelled at her husband, “ ‘I’m going to rip those God-damned things out of there.’ ”

Burgess said Onufreychuk first hurled two bricks at her husband, who dodged them.

Burgess said her neighbour proceeded to tell her “these are mine” and ripped out three fibreglass dividers she’d placed between her driveway and Onufreychuk’s yard.

Burgess said Onufreychuk then came at her, pushing her shoulders and knocking her backwards on her driveway.

The Crown alleges this action constituted the assault, while ripping out Burgess’s dividers and carrying them to her own property amounts to theft.

But defence lawyer Richard Begin noted Burgess has twice been convicted of crimes against Onufreychuk. In cross-examination, he asked Burgess why photographs didn’t show where she claimed to have fallen in the fresh sealant.

“There’s not a single mark on the driveway — no dirt, footprints or mark of you falling,” Begin said. “It’s a tar that’s just been laid.”

The trial is scheduled to continue Wednesday.


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