A 21-year-old man will appear in court today on charges of breaking and entering and mischief over $5,000 for allegedly vandalizing a Herring Cove home at the centre of a court battle between neighbours.

Police arrested a man at about 9:20 a.m. on Saturday for breaking into Tom and Corrinne Dempsey’s home under construction at 1594 John Brackett Dr. earlier that morning, Halifax regional police Staff Sgt. Dave Reynolds said. “There was certainly more than enough evidence to make the arrest,” he said.

Sources say the suspect under arrest is the son of a neighbouring couple who have recently been embroiled in a bitter court dispute with the Dempseys over the home’s construction.


Reynolds said the suspect is being held at the Burnside jail and will appear in Halifax provincial court this morning. He said the accused could face jail time if convicted.

Corrinne Dempsey said she’s grateful the arrest was made so swiftly.

“We feel safer because someone’s been arrested. Are we happy about this? No,” she said.

The owners of the vandalized home woke up Saturday morning to find the windows smashed, the electrical panel doors ripped off, and the wiring, ductwork and plumbing destroyed. A can of liquid adhesive primer they described as “blue goo” had been poured into a shop vacuum, chainsaw, furnace, locksets, pipes and an air compressor.

“It’s a very angry thing that they did,” Dempsey said.

She said the damage, which is covered by insurance, would set back the work by several months.
An ongoing dispute with the neighbours over the proximity of the Dempsey’s three-storey, 3,000-square-foot home culminated last week. A Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice dismissed Hal Whitehead and Lindy Weilgart’s appeal of a municipal decision to allow the Dempseys to build closer to the property line than normally permitted. The couple was ordered to pay $5,000 in legal fees.

The phone number listed for the Whitehead and Weilgart residence was busy yesterday.

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