Ron Roberts stands by his trashed garden.
Ron Roberts stands by his trashed garden. Crystal Spencer

Tweed hoodlums strike again

A TWEED West gang, believed to have driven a man to take his own life, has struck again.

A 71-year-old retiree was left devastated when he awoke in his Jacaranda Avenue home to find his prize rose garden vandalised.

“My garden is my life,” Ron Roberts said.

“I spend all day out there.

“It’s just heartbreaking.”

Mr Roberts lived on the same street as Martin Grove, who had been targeted by the same gang for years.

According to friends and family, Mr Grove could handle the torment no longer on December 11, when he walked to the house of the youths he believed to be behind the harassment and shot himself in their front yard.

The gang would often throw rocks at Mr Grove’s house to disturb his sleep, cut off his power, smear faeces at his front door and empty garbage bins on his lawn and car. An 89-year-old woman is also a constant target.

Mr Roberts said the youths he believed had vandalised his garden were in the same gang as Mr Grove’s tormentors.

“They’re all linked-up together and they’re all no good hoodlums,” he said.

“They’ve got no respect for anything including themselves.”

On another occasion, Mr Roberts was threatened by a youth with a saw and he remained trapped inside his house until police arrived.

Mr Roberts said the youth was charged, but got away with just a “slap on the wrist”.

The latest incident is the third time Mr Roberts’ garden has been trashed this year.

“This time they ripped out all the roses and threw them on the road.

“I used to have more gardens out the front and they ripped them all out.

“They make life very, very tough.”

Mr Roberts said he has called the police a number of times.

“They say there’s nothing they can do.

“I’m just wondering what’s going to happen now.”

He added he would try to repair the damage to his garden as neighbours, as well as himself, enjoy it.

“People love looking at it,” Mr Roberts said.

“I’m in the Gold Coast Rose Society and a few garden clubs and my flowers win a lot of prizes.

“There’s thousands and thousands of dollars worth of plants.

“When I moved here four years ago there was nothing.”

Police encouraged residents to report any incidents through Crime Stoppers, the Police Assistance Line or the Tweed Police Station.

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