A prominent rest home owner and businessman verbally abused his tenants yesterday after they put up sign at the complex complaining about noisy trucks.
John Tooby, owner of the $80 million Lady Wigram Retirement Village in Wigram, delivered a tirade at four elderly residents, using the f-word frequently and calling the them a pack of “bloody kids”.
The incident was recorded by a Star journalist who was at the rest home to photograph tenants about their ongoing issues of noisy trucks on Lodestar Ave.
The elderly residents were clearly shaken and tried to reason with Mr Tooby, saying they were his tenants, but his abuse continued.
Mr Tooby told the pensioners he was “f…ing pissed off” they had contacted The Star about the campaign to stop the trucks.
“Yes, I’m not happy, I’m not putting up with that sh*t.”
He told them the rest home fence they put the sign up on was his property and it had to be taken down.
Mr Tooby has been involved with building projects since the 1970s, and set up Golden Healthcare Group, which owns the Lady Wigram Retirement Village.
Mr Tooby and Golden Health Care was nominated as a finalist for the 2016 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.
The company’s website ironically features one of the elderly tenants that he abused yesterday on promotion material.
Mr Tooby later apologised to Bob Prescott, one of the pensioners he abused.
Said Mr Prescott: “I had a verbal apology sort of and we did end by shaking hands and I suppose that means something but it’s best I say nothing.
“I’m in a difficult situation now and it’s better I say nothing.”
The Star attempted unsuccessfully to talk to Mr Tooby after his tirade.
But in a brief interview by phone earlier in the afternoon he said: “If I worried about heavy trucks driving past, I wouldn’t be in business so I would go and find some real news.”
Mr Prescott and other residents at the retirement village have been trying to get authorities to stop trucks using Lodestar Ave since earlier this year.
The trucks rattle everything in their units and he can’t open doors and windows because of the noise, he said.
Residents have been to the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board, the police and Wigram MP Megan Woods about the problem.
JOHN TOOBY: You’ll not take it down in a minute, you’ll take it down right now. I’m being rung up by the bloody press [The Star] and I’m not standing for that bloody bit, that bulls**t. Alright?
FEMALE RESIDENT: I’m sorry but we just…
MALE RESIDENT: Are you alright?
JOHN TOOBY: Do you think you’re going to re-train the bloody truckies down here? It’s none of your business, it’s none of my business. If you’ve got a problem you ring the council up and do it privately.
MALE RESIDENT: We’ve done that.
FEMALE RESIDENT: We have.
JOHN TOOBY: Well take the bloody sign off my fence.
FEMALE RESIDENT: Well you go and drive around and take it off now.
MALE RESIDENT: No, I’ll go and do it now . . . (inaudible)
JOHN TOOBY: Who said…what a bloody cheek. If you’ve got a problem, ring me up.
FEMALE RESIDENT: I think we already rang you.
MALE RESIDENT: The manager was involved.
JOHN TOOBY: If you’ve got a problem, you ring me up but you do not go sticking signs on my fence. I’m not being rung up by the bloody press, I’ve got more things to do than put up with that bullsh*t.
MALE RESIDENT: We had your manageress here when we first were interviewed.
JOHN TOOBY: I’m the bloody boss round here, alright?
MALE RESIDENT: I’m sorry, I thought she was allowed to be here.
JOHN TOOBY: You’re just like a pack of bloody kids.
MALE RESIDENT: Oh, come on John.
JOHN TOOBY: Like a pack of bloody kids. Grow up. Get a f**king life.
MALE RESIDENT: I think you should the way you’re talking.
JOHN TOOBY: Get a life. If you’ve got a problem…
MALE RESIDENT: We’re your clients. Why are you talking to us like this?
JOHN TOOBY: What’s it got to do with you what speed they drive down here?
MALE RESIDENT: You sleep at night.
JOHN TOOBY: Ring up the bloody cops.
MALE RESIDENT: We have.
JOHN TOOBY: Well ring them up again. That’s life, isn’t it?
MALE RESIDENT: No it’s not. If you sat in one of these villas at 4.30-5 o’clock.
JOHN TOOBY: You do not go around putting signs up on my fence and have the bloody press [The Star] ringing me up. They want to interview me and all this f**king crap. Grow up. Get a life, get on the phone, do it from inside your house. (inaudible) Get this bloody sign down.
MALE RESIDENT: Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? You’re in a foul mood, John.
JOHN TOOBY: I’m f**king pissed off, yes.
MALE RESIDENT: Just because the press [The Star] rang you up.
JOHN TOOBY: Yes, I’m not happy, I’m not putting up with that sh*t.
MALE RESIDENT: Well don’t.
JOHN TOOBY: You’re like a pack of kids.
MALE RESIDENT: Can we quote you for the way you have spoken to us?
JOHN TOOBY: Yes, you can quote me and you can get that bloody sign down.
FEMALE RESIDENT: He’s going around to do it now. He’s unscrewing it.
MALE RESIDENT: We’re only trying to help.
JOHN TOOBY: Right (inaudible)
JOHN TOOBY: How old are you? Standing outside bloody, standing out on the street with a bloody sign.
MALE RESIDENT: What do you mean, how old am I?
JOHN TOOBY: Jesus Christ.
MALE RESIDENT: I’m one of your bloody tenants, one of your clients.
JOHN TOOBY: Yes, right, well grow up. Grow up.
MALE RESIDENT: You grow up. You should treat us with a far better attitude than you are.
JOHN TOOBY: Well I’m sick of that sort of behaviour.
MALE RESIDENT: Well how often does it happen? If you’re sick of it, it must happen a lot, doesn’t it?
JOHN TOOBY: From certain quarters, yes.
MALE RESIDENT: Well we’ve not been involved. Your manageress was here the day we were interviewed by The Star. So we went through the right channels.
JOHN TOOBY: Interviewed by The Star.
MALE RESIDENT: Yeah, so what?
JOHN TOOBY: Get yourself a life.
MALE RESIDENT: Take his photo.
JOHN TOOBY: I beg your pardon.
MALE RESIDENT: He’s the photographer.
JOHN TOOBY: I know. Have you got nothing better to do either?
MALE RESIDENT: Bloody hell.
THE STAR PHOTOGRAPHER: I’m just doing my job.
JOHN TOOBY: Yeah, well, go and report some decent news, would you? Round here, trucks drive around here a bit fast, this is not the way to solve it, is it?
MALE RESIDENT: Are we all silly little buggers, is that what you’re saying to us?
JOHN TOOBY: The way you’re carrying on, yes.
MALE RESIDENT: What are we doing?
JOHN TOOBY: Look, you do this sort of stuff when you’re students.
MALE RESIDENT: Oh, come on.
THE STAR PHOTOGRAPHER: You alright there, Anne?