Tom Dempsey is upset that insurance won’t cover thousands of dollars in damage to his half-built Herring Cove home that was vandalized last month.

His neighbour Benjamin Weilgart-Whitehead, 21, faces charges of mischief over $5,000 and breaking and entering for allegedly trashing Dempsey’s home under construction at 1594 John Brackett Dr.

Dempsey says his insurance company, Allstate Insurance, calculated the damage to be $56,734, but the policy doesn’t cover vandalism of a home under construction.


“Even if we do get retribution, how does a 21-year-old boy pay that off?” Dempsey said.

Nearly all the windows of the Dempsey’s home were smashed. The wiring, ductwork and plumbing were destroyed and liquid adhesive primer had been poured into the furnace, locksets, pipes and machinery.

The Dempseys have been embroiled in a bitter court battle with the neighbours —renowned whale researchers Lindy Weilgart and Hal Whitehead — who say their 3,000 square-foot home is too close to their property.

Most of the damage has since been repaired on the Dempseys’ dime and with help from the community. He says the local church had a bingo night to raise money and a colleague provided free wiring.

“We’re not budging,” said Dempsey about the property he says has been in his family for 150 years. “We’re going to build our home and move into it.”

Dempsey is also frustrated that the Crown allowed Weilgart-Whitehead, who appeared in court yesterday, to change his bail conditions.

There was a restraining order that said Weilgart-Whitehead cannot come within 100 metres of the Dempseys or their parents, but he got it changed yesterday. He’s living with his father who just started renting a home near the Dempseys.

The Crown declined to comment.

Weilgart-Whitehead is due back in court Sept. 2.

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