Woman wants autistic neighbour out

A 69-YEAR-OLD North Rockhampton woman says she has endured a year of hell living next door to a troubled and destructive teenager.

The 17-year-old, who is severely autistic and lives with three carers in a suburban street, regularly eludes his minders to inflict a reign of terror on his neighbours.

“I often have to lock myself in because I am scared he will enter the house.

"Nobody should have to live like this,” said the woman.

“I hate living behind a locked door, but he's tried to get into my home, he's damaged my garden and he's attacked a neighbour's car with a big block of wood.”

She said carpenters were regularly at the boy's house repairing the damage he had caused during violent rampages.

“I'd like a good night's sleep but he often keeps me awake, by stomping about,” she said.

Cr Stephen Schwarten described the situation as intolerable and as long ago as March he requested Curtis Pitt, the Minister for Disability Services to intervene by relocating the youth to more suitable accommodation.

“I know he has a serious disability and I'm sorry for him, but I am more sorry for the people who are suffering as a result of the means of caring for him,” said Cr Schwarten.

“He is a menace and people in the local community have the right to be able to feel safe in their homes.”

He told the Minister that the youth was single-handedly ruining the safety and amenity of the surrounding neighbourhood, describing how he had broken into a nearby house and wrecked much of the contents of the lounge room and kitchen.

“He is clearly not in a fit state to be housed in such a community.

"You have to question the high cost of providing the care he's receiving and the effectiveness of the method of care.”

Mr Schwarten said the Minister's office had admitted that the boy was not in the right place and that officials were working hard to find alternative accommodation.

“Every few weeks I will be asking for progress updates until his neighbours get what they want,” he said.

The Morning Bulletin has agreed not to identify the teenager or the location of his house to protect his identity.



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