Slashed tyres and pepper spray: Berlin tenant goes on trial for terrorising neighbours

Slashed tyres and pepper spray: Berlin tenant goes on trial for terrorising neighbours
Abdulkadir O. goes on trial on Friday at the criminal court in Moabit. Photo: DPA
We’ve all been there - a neighbour who likes to vacuum his apartment at 3am, or one who plays the piano badly - on purpose. But few people will have had a neighbour quite like the defendant in a trial starting in Berlin today.

The list of misdemeanours on the prosecutor’s charge sheet is long.

Property damage for repeatedly breaking the locks on the cellar door of a married couple who lived next door; slashing the tyres of the same couple's car. An assault charge for throwing eggs at one neighbour’s window.

Banging on the piping in the middle of the night to stop other people sleeping. Following neighbours when they leave their apartment and videotaping them.

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If the charges are true, Abdulkadir O is likely the worst neighbour in the history of all bad neighbours. The local press have named the house he lived in in Berlin's Spandau district “the horror house of Spandau.”

There was also no way out for the terrorized neighbours. While Abdulkadir O. rented his apartment, everyone else in the building owned their apartments.

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Tagesspiegel newspaper reports that Abdulkadir O. is a member of one of Berlin’s notorious Lebanese clans, who control the narcotics scene in the city and are notorious for making Arabic shopkeepers in the Neukölln district pay them “protection money.”

The activities of the clans were brought into the popular imagination by the successful TV series 4 Blocks, which is set in Neukölln.

He moved into the apartment in 2014 and terrorised his neighbours over years without the police doing anything about it.

Only when the Berlin detective department (LKA) took over the case in 2019 did prosecutors build up a case against him and bring his tyranny of his neighbours to an end. 

He has already been sentenced to six months on prohibition after he sprayed pepper spray through the window of one neighbour.

Commenting on the case, Tagesspiegel wrote that “this makes clear that the clans and their members don't care a bit for our values norms and rules. They live by their own rules and don't have any consideration for others.”

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