In writing the Ten Biggest Legal Mistakes I put fighting with a neighbour near the top of the list. It can lead to you moving house, I advised.
However, against my own advice, I once punched my own neighbour in the mouth.
I had just moved to the Sunshine Coast. My son was playing outside in a noisy way and my neighbour swore at him. My son told his Mum and she went outside to reason with my neighbour.
By the time that I had got outside my wife and neighbour were arguing. I had never spoken to my neighbour but he was as usual holding a beer can in his muscly hand and wearing a white vest with little tuffs of hair growing on top of his shoulders.
I tried to steer my wife indoors, but as we moved back, the argument continued and he pressed forward in a sort of menacing drunken manner. Eventually, he raised his fist and motioned to me that he was going to hit her. He seemed to expect me to support him. He kept moving forward towards us and I hit him. He shouted that he would “sue” and then changed it to “kill” me which I felt was more appropriate in the circumstances.
The next morning, the police arrived. However, they decided that I was entitled to defend my wife in these circumstances.
Therefore, I have revised my advice to - if you cannot resist attacking your neighbours, rent.
For those of you who long to prevail in hand to hand combat, against overwheming odds, in defence of your loved ones, my wife’s verdict was “You didn’t hit him hard enough”.