29 Mar, 2019 @ 17:36
2 mins read

Police intervene after ‘disturbed rifle-touting’ neighbour declares ‘this is war’ before planting row of cypress trees to block expat’s views on Spain’s Costa Blanca

UNDER THREAT: Capps views from home in Benissa
UNDER THREAT: Capps’ views from home in Benissa

AN expat is relieved after learning his nuisance neighbour is set to be forced to trim a row of ‘intrusive’ trees following a probe by this paper.

American expat Gordon Capps, 59, was told by local police that they will order his Portuguese neighbour to cut the line of cypress trees to just 1.5 metres in height.

Capps had sought our help after the ‘disturbed’ 30-something neighbour planted a dozen trees alongside his garden fence, threatening to block his stunning views of the Sierra de Bernia y Ferrer.

The 59-year-old TV set worker said the move was the ‘last straw’ in a bizarre ongoing feud with the neighbour, who he claims recently approached him with a rifle on his shoulder.

“It feels like he’s putting up a middle finger at us,” Gordon, who worked as a prop master for CSI Las Vegas, told the Olive Press.

“We love this place, we love everything about it, except that one thing.”

Capps, from Los Angeles, bought his stunning villa in Benissa last March with his French wife Catherine, a retired yoga teacher.

But things quickly began to go awry with his neighbours, who he insists refused to be friendly ‘from the outset’.

Capps with the bamboo fence he erected to have more privacy in back garden

Capps, who trained as a paramedic, claims the neighbour’s four dogs barked continually and their owner hid inside the house whenever approached.

Despite calling in the Guardia Civil to investigate and contacting the mayor of Benissa for help, he said the neighbour refused to negotiate a compromise.

A letter to the town hall, seen by the Olive Press, pleaded for help, insisting the man was deliberately threatening them and that he carried a gun.

As well as asking the town hall to check if he had a licence for the rifle, the September 2018 missive asked if local police could speak to him about his dogs.

Capps claimed he was ‘worried for his life’ and that the neighbour appeared to have ‘mental health issues’.

Another neighbour, Spaniard Jaime Serra Ortola, 43, has also denounced the neighbour for ‘death threats’ against him and his dog.

“I’ve denounced him countless times and the police have twice been round. It’s fair to say he is unhinged,” he told the Olive Press.

The feud began when Capps put up a low bamboo fence to create some privacy from the neighbour who spied on him while swimming, and then reacted furiously, screaming ‘this is war!’

Capps now fears the cypress trees will not only block his view, but the roots could destroy his swimming pool.

“I have been told that local police have instructed him to keep the trees to 1.5 metres, which I hope he does,” concluded Capps.

The Olive Press was unable to speak to the neighbour, despite various visits.


Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: [email protected] or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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