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Lady pressured to pay £250,000 to neighbour who sued her over tree dropping rotten fruit onto her garden


A ‘creepy’ and ‘vindictive’ gardener has been ordered to pay £250,000 to her wasp-allergic neighbour who sued her over a tree dropping rotten apples into her Surrey backyard. 

Antoinette Williams acted like a ‘college bully’ and displayed ‘disgraceful’ behaviour in the direction of Barbara Pilcher after the neighbours clashed over a 40-foot Bramley apple tree.

Mrs Williams moved into her £600,000 cottage, in Dunsfold, close to Godalming, virtually 40 years in the past, whereas Mrs Pilcher purchased the adjoining three-bedroom £500,000 cottage in 2010. 

Mrs Pilcher sued her neighbour after the tree dumped rotting apples onto her garden every season, bringing swathes of wasps drawn to the fruit.

Antoinette Williams outside Central London County Court. She has been ordered to pay £250,000 after a judge ruled against her in a battle against neighbour Barbara Pilcher over a tree dropping rotten fruit into her garden in Dunsfold, Surrey

Barbara Pilcher outside Central London County Court. A judge said she was made to feel 'like a prisoner in her own home' after being the victim of targeted harassment by her neighbour Antoinette Williams

Antoinette Williams (left) and Barbara Pilcher (proper) outdoors Central London County Court docket following a five-day trial that resulted in Mrs Williams being ordered to pay £250,000 after a decide dominated in opposition to her over a tree dropping fruit into Mrs Pilcher’s backyard

The back garden of Mrs Pilcher's home, which she claimed was repeatedly covered in rotten fruit from a tree overhanging from Mrs Williams' garden

The again backyard of Mrs Pilcher’s residence, which she claimed was repeatedly lined in rotten fruit from a tree overhanging from Mrs Williams’ backyard

Nevertheless, what adopted was a marketing campaign of focused harassment during which Mrs Williams repeatedly stared at her neighbour via a window, didn’t prune the apple tree and saved a big smelly compost bin on the backside of her personal backyard.

Following a five-day trial at Central London County Court docket, Decide Lawrence Cohen QC dominated in favour of Mrs Pilcher and ordered Mrs Williams to pay prices and damages amounting to round £250,000 on Wednesday.   

The neighbours first clashed in 2014 when fruit from the tree started falling over the fence and Mrs Williams refused to chop it again. 

The court docket heard that Mrs Pilcher had been unable to make use of the underside of her backyard and was made to really feel ‘like a prisoner in her own residence’.

Her barrister, Oliver Newman, additionally instructed the court docket that members of the family had stopped visiting the house due to the escalating feud along with her neighbour.

The adjoining homes of feuding neighbours Mrs Williams and Mrs Pilcher in Dunsfold, near Godalming, Surrey

The adjoining properties of feuding neighbours Mrs Williams and Mrs Pilcher in Dunsfold, close to Godalming, Surrey

Mr Newman instructed the court docket: ‘Upon Mrs Williams’ refusal to chop the tree again, Mrs Pilcher exercised her proper to take action in June 2014, which resulted in a barrage of allegations from Mrs Williams that she had reduce the tree at an inappropriate time, reduce it again too far and had induced a poor harvest.’ 

‘Because of this and Mrs Williams’ different behaviour which upset Mrs Pilcher and led her to worry confrontation, she subsequently felt unable to train her rights for worry of Mrs Williams’ response.

‘Mrs Pilcher has consequently been left unable to make use of the underside of her backyard because of the scent from rotting apples and the composters, the worry of falling apples and the worry of wasps, having been hospitalised in 2018 after being stung a number of instances by wasps from a close-by wasps’ nest.’

She claimed damages for alleged nuisance over the apples, however Decide Cohen mentioned this specific concern had been resolved in the course of the course of the trial after Mrs Williams ‘agreed to have the tree professionally pruned’.

Nevertheless, he awarded Mrs Pilcher £12,000 in compensation for seven years of harassment that left her ‘dreading coming residence’. 

The harassment included Mrs Williams repeatedly peering via Mrs Pilcher’s home windows, ‘monitoring’ her comings and goings and even following her family after they’d visited.

Aerial footage of the houses owned by Mrs Pilcher and Mrs Williams, which form the right side half of the block of grey-roofed houses which can be seen in the centre of the picture

Aerial footage of the homes owned by Mrs Pilcher and Mrs Williams, which type the correct facet half of the block of grey-roofed homes which could be seen within the centre of the image

One in every of Mrs Pilcher’s daughters instructed of how Mrs Williams trailed her mom outdoors when she took her granddaughter to a close-by playground.  

Mrs Williams, a member of the Dunsfold and Hascombe Horticultural Society, denied the allegations and accused Mrs Pilcher of getting psychological well being issues.

Nevertheless, Decide Cohen branded her behaviour as ‘utterly irregular and disturbing’. 

He added that Mrs Williams had additionally turn out to be fixated with the concept her neighbour was blocking her parking rights and, in an incident in January 2015, produced a digital camera and tape measure to document the area taken up by Mrs Pilcher’s automobile. 

Later the identical day, she drove her automobile over the verge of Mrs Pilcher’s residence, churning up her grass, in an incident caught on CCTV.

Central London County Court, where Judge Lawrence Cohen awarded Mrs Pilcher £12,000 after being the victim of harassment by Mrs Williams, who was also ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal fees

Central London County Court docket, the place Decide Lawrence Cohen awarded Mrs Pilcher £12,000 after being the sufferer of harassment by Mrs Williams, who was additionally ordered to pay lots of of hundreds of kilos in authorized charges

She denied pestering her neighbour with the parking antics and claimed Mrs Pilcher had given her the middle-finger when she fairly complained about her parking area being obstructed.

Decide Cohen, although, rejected the claims and described the incident as ‘disgraceful’ vandalism. 

He mentioned the parking incident supplied a ‘useful perception’ into Mrs Williams’ character. 

Passing his ruling, the decide added: ‘There may be robust proof of Mrs Williams behaving in a vindictive approach in the direction of Mrs Pilcher intentionally to alarm and misery her and that she is missing in self management.

‘I’ve not discovered Mrs Williams to be a dependable witness. 

‘She [Mrs Pilcher] dreads coming residence, her daughter doesn’t wish to keep along with her anymore and different younger members of the family both don’t wish to go to her or, if they’re introduced to go to, should be sheltered from the offensive conduct.’

Mrs Pilcher was awarded £12,000 for the harassment, whereas Mrs Williams was ordered to pay prices estimated to be between £135,000 and £180,000 in the direction of her authorized charges, on prime of her personal legal professionals’ payments of greater than £100,000.

Decide Cohen rejected a declare from Mrs Pilcher that Mrs Williams had been negligent in coping with a humid concern she claimed had induced harm to her property.


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