Couple?s nightmare in new dream home

THREE weeks ago David and Mel moved into what they thought was going to be their dream home, the former Presbyterian manse in Grafton.

It was old, had character, potential and was central.

But after spending many sleepless nights and being forced to hire a security guard to keep problem youths at bay, they are looking for assistance from police and the Clarence Valley Council to make their life a little easier.

David and Mel, who asked that their correct names not be used out of fear of recrimination, said their life had been hell on Friday and Saturday nights because of problems generated from the nearby skate- park. On Friday last week a group of youths, who the couple said had been at the park, started smashing pieces from their front fence.

When approached by David, the youths circled him and became threatening.

When he eventually got them to move, they wheeled around and sang out 'you are dead'.

"They were about 15- to 17-yearolds and showed no obvious signs of being drunk," David said.

The couple rented a house in South Grafton not far from a hotel before moving to their new home and said the noise they experienced there was nothing compared with what they are experiencing now.

"We can't even rest or sleep on Friday or Saturday nights," she said.

"You get to Monday and you have had no sleep."

She said things had become so bad they had to hire a security officer last weekend to allow them to get some sleep.

"I worked for a week to feel safe in my own home on Saturday night," she said. "It hardly seems worth it, but on Saturday I was pretty desperate."

David and Mel want the skatepark to be fenced, a curfew imposed, council to pay for security officers to enforce the curfew and police to make additional patrols of the area.

They will approach the council for assistance.

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