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A Dunedin man threatened to stomp on the head of his elderly neighbour and said he was willing to do 15 years’ jail for it, a court has heard.
However, 64-year-old David Wayne Burrows did not have to spend a day behind bars, and now says he is highly embarrassed by his actions.
"I was a fool, a complete idiot," he told the Dunedin District Court yesterday.
"I went off the rails."
Burrows had lived next to the victim for 20 years and said he had been friends with the man for a long time.
"I let him down, I let myself down ... I have no excuses. I certainly don’t [remember anything], and I know my neighbour is not a liar," he said.
Burrows previously pleaded guilty to threatening to kill, his first conviction for 11 years.
On October 13, he was "very drunk and yelling" while in Harington Point Rd, near his home on the peninsula.
He told his neighbour that he planned to "stomp on his head" and "crush his throat".
A police summary said the victim was too scared to call police but other witnesses reported the violent threats.
"I will be coming for you in the morning and I will deal with you. You will be freaked out and never be found," Burrows shouted at the neighbour.
"I will do 15 years in jail for you. I don’t care."
The victim believed the outburst was sparked by an incident a few days earlier after he had called Noise Control and Burrows’ stereo was confiscated.
Judge Kevin Glubb said the man continued to feel anxious over the comments made that night.
"He feels trapped and unable to live peacefully in community," he said.
"He cannot walk around neighbourhood without fear of bumping into you."
Defence counsel Brian Kilkelly said his client’s behaviour was the result of combining prescription medication, alcohol and cannabis.
Burrows had spent three years in a rehabilitation ward after a car crash, he said, and still suffered the effects of a traumatic head injury.
His client was regarded as "a little eccentric" within the small peninsula community but was adamant he would not come before the court again.
Burrows was sentenced to 14 months’ intensive supervision and ordered to pay the victim $300.