An Aberdeenshire 85-year-old whose life has been made a misery by young vandals has issued a desperate plea for “some respect, and some peace and quiet”.
Retired artist, Van Leiper, believes he has been targeted by a group of callous youths who have repeatedly caused havoc at his property in St Cyrus.
Mr Leiper says he endured bombings while growing up in Aberdeen during the Second World War and hopes to live out his remaining years peacefully in the quiet coastal village.
His ordeal began when the nights started drawing in during September, and at one point, his car window was smashed – leaving him to pay out more than £300 in repairs.
The 85-year-old has now issued a poignant appeal to be left alone after being “deprived of his peace and quiet” for months.
He said: “It all started when it began to get dark around 8pm in early September and it’s been going on for several weeks now.
“First, they rattled my letterbox. After that, they started coming to my house – they would bang on my door and throw stones and pieces of wood into my property, and then run away and hide in the dark.
“It just got to the stage when I thought I was being targeted, because my house is the last in a line of housing designed for disabled people and pensioners, and it’s usually very quiet.”
He added: “In my life, I’ve been bombed during the war. I’ve had all the experience I want to have in my 85 years and I don’t need this.
“All I want now is some respect, and some peace and quiet.”
Police were informed of the situation on Monday, and have confirmed it comes amid a spate of other vandalism in the village.
Some of the damaged property in the area also includes a bench in the community garden, which was placed there in memory of a local.
A police spokesman said: “We can confirm that on Saturday and Sunday, we received reports of antisocial behavior involving youths in the Morphie Drive area of St Cyrus.
“Officers have engaged with the individuals involved and provided suitable advice.”
Mr Leiper also shared his experience on a community Facebook page on Saturday, having reached the end of his tether.
He wrote: “I have lived in this village of St Cyrus for 23 years, since March mainly confined to my home by Covid restrictions.
“At 85 years of age, with limited mobility, I would just like a little respect and peace to live my life. For several weeks now this has been denied me by a group of teenage creatures.”
Since then, residents have expressed their sympathy and offered their help.
“I was actually surprised by the amount of response to my post”, Mr Leiper said.
“I’ve already had two parents bring their children to my door to apologize for being involved in this.
“I think something good came out of it all in the end.”
And yesterday, Mr Leiper confirmed that he had been donated enough wood to arrange repairs to the memorial bench.