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Wednesday 07 October 2015

"We had to close" - ChCh gay couple

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 13th January 2011

Dave and Kym
A gay Christchurch couple says they have closed their bakery because they simply couldn't go on any longer in the face of homophobic abuse and threats from a local family.

Dave Zelton has told Daily News his partner Kym is having a breakdown as a result of their windows being smashed, their car and home being attacked, and abuse such as "all faggots need to be burnt and destroyed" hurled through their shop door.

Zelton feels like he is not far behind his partner in the mental health stakes: "I'm getting to that stage already at the moment. I'm just trying to hold it together."

The situation stemmed from a dispute with a woman who was working in the pair's newly-opened bakery as a volunteer, because Kym had broken his foot and she wanted to help out. In return they helped her out by giving her groceries and baked goods. The situation turned sour when the woman, who had been a friend of Kym's, suddenly demanded money for her work. They said no and offered to discuss it with her later – and the next day their window was smashed, and then the abuse began.

The family has been served with a trespass notice and the couple has engaged a lawyer. "It's cost us. And it's actually destroyed us inside. We had to close. We had to close. We had no choice. And now we've closed we're thinking ahead to how we're going to pay the leftover bills. And that's the hardest thing at the moment."

When the couple told police they believe they are the victims of hate crimes, Zelton says police said they could not do anything until someone was hurt. "We've called them out a number of times. Basically they said last night, each time we call 111 with any threat, or abuse, or whatever, they'll document it."

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