Renovation twist as widow's $2m home attacked with red paint

The construction boss son of an elderly widow whose house was sprayed with litres of blood-red paint has shut down suggestions his mum’s upmarket home might’ve been attacked by a disgruntled tradie. 

Narelle Green, who is in her late 70s, had her $2million two-bedroom home vandalised during the early hours of Monday morning, leaving Mrs Green shaken and neighbours mystified.

The picture-perfect cottage in Leichhardt – a suburb in Sydney’s inner west best known for its Italian delis and trattorias – was drenched in oil-based red paint which took a four-man cleaning team an entire day to remove. 

Now her son, 52-year-old Niklas Green, has told Daily Mail Australia the family is still at a loss to explain just who was responsible for the flagrant act of vandalism.

‘We’ve got no idea,’ he said. 

‘We had the police down and they think that it was done with pistol guns and perhaps they got the wrong address.But, yeah, nothing.’ 

The bizarre paint attack came just a few years after Mr Green’s construction company Green Core did a full renovation of his mum’s property back in 2019.

But Mr Green shot down any suggestion that the paint spray could have been a revenge attack from a disgruntled sub-contractor.

Niklas Green (pictured) said his mother was ‘shocked’ by the brazen vandalism but that the local community had rallied around her

Mr Green said he and his brother Lee had worked on the property. 

‘He (Lee) and I paid for it is what we did.We gave mum the money and mum paid for it. She paid all the contractors herself,’ he said.

Mr Green (pictured) said the police thought the house might have been sprayed with ‘water pistols’ but that they had no idea about motive

Asked if he had any outstanding payments he said: ‘Not that I’m aware of, mate.We’ve dragged the chain on getting people paid over the years but we’ve got everyone paid.’

Mr Green’s construction website revealed the extent of the work done on the home.

‘The works included all new bathrooms, kitchens, services, roofing, ceilings etc to complete a full interior and exterior renovation,’ the Green Core website noted. 

Daily Mail Australia is in no way suggesting Mr Green or Green Core’s work on the property had anything to do with this week’s attack.

Mr Green said the attack on the home came as a shock – and a mystery – to everyone in the family. 

‘Mum’s lived on her own for about 30 years so we don’t know.  I’ve got a brother and sister and we all wracked our brains but no idea to be honest with you,’ he said.

Mr Green said his mother was shaken up at first but that she has seen an outpouring of support from the local community.

‘She was shocked by it.  But one real positive to come out of the whole thing is the number of people who have asked how she is. 

‘The local community has really rallied around her.’

Mr Green said his mother did not want to comment. 

It is unclear whether the house will need a new paint job but when Daily Mail Australia visited this past week a painstaking day-long clean-up operation was underway.

Vandals sprayed litres of blood-red paint across the pristine white walls of a house where an ‘old widow’ lives 

Daily Mail Australia visited on Wednesday while the clean-up operation was underway

Despite starting around 9am, the four-man cleaning team were still going late into the afternoon using power hoses, scrubbing brushes and micro-fibre cloths.

‘It’s oil-based red paint and it stains like buggery,’ one of the cleaners said.    

The incident has completely baffled Mr Green’s neighbours in Leichhardt – with locals offering up numerous theories, but few answers, as to why the house was brazenly attacked.

One lady living several doors down, who did not want to give her name for fear of being targeted herself, said she was ‘completely mystified’ by the attack. 

‘I was the one who rang the police after my husband called me on his way to work in the morning,’ she said.

‘The poor lady was really shaken up and upset.What a sad and horrible thing to do to an old lady – especially for a lady who lives on her own.

‘We’ve never seen anything like it – it’s a pretty friendly street. To do that to an old widow who lives on her own is just disgusting.’

Another neighbour in the suburb known fondly as Little Italy because of its Italian delis and trattorias, was more blunt. 

‘Scum – utter scum,’ he said. 

‘My wife saw it on Facebook so I went and had a look.It’s disgusting. She’s a lovely girl and I don’t know why they would have done it but they’re scum.’ 

The man, who is new in the area, said he would install CCTV outside his home. 

An elderly man living across the road said he thought it was ‘youths’ who were responsible.

Neighbours were left ‘completely mystified’ by the attack with one branding the vandals ‘scum’

‘It happened in the middle of the night.When she woke up in the morning it was there. I reckon they filled those plastic water guns with paint and sprayed it,’ he said.

‘How else would they have shot it up that high? It’s on the roof. There’s a big jacaranda out in front of the house so they would be well hidden while they were doing it.

‘She’s lovely, very friendly.We know her to say hello. Often she’s out walking with her daughter.

Another neighbour said: ‘It’s cowardly and totally baffling,’

‘They must have targeted the house for some reason, even if it’s a case of mistaken identity.Like if it was kids being stupid there’s an empty old hotel across the road they could have sprayed.’  

A customer in the Billy Lou Kids Shoe shop at the end of the street said she was ‘shocked’ by the act of vandalism.

‘It’s a lovely area, very family-oriented from little kids to teenagers,’ she said.  

‘It’s a friendly area too – people look out for each other.But you can have rat bags anywhere.

Another added: ‘It’s a really nice, quiet area. I haven’t known anything to happen like this in the past.’

There was an outpouring of anger at the vandals and support for the victim on social media.

Denise Tierney wrote said it was ‘like a murder scene’.

It’s vile and hurtful to the poor resident.’ 

The house (pictured) is worth an estimated $2million 

Annie Gripton said she hopes the police ‘arrest whoever is responsible’.

‘How awful and frightening for those living there,’ she wrote.

‘I walked past this afternoon and was just gobsmacked.’

John McWhorter commented: ‘Oil-based paint, too.It will be an expensive nightmare to clean. An awful act of vandalism done I’d guess with a super-soaker of some sort.’

Police remained tight-lipped over possible motivations for the vandalism.

‘Officers from Leichhardt Police Area Command received a report of vandalism on Monday (20 March 2023),’ a NSW Police spokeswoman said.

‘Inquiries are continuing into this incident.’

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