A COUPLE'S neighbours paved over three feet of their garden, forcing the pair to take the matter to court to snatch their land back.

Jay and Hannah Stirrett have now won the seven-year fight, after a Judge ruled the narrow strip of land was in fact theirs.


The pair's neighbours, Wendy Mszyca, 58, and her partner Amanda Uziell-Hamilton, 66, had always argued that the small section was part of their back garden, and even paved over it four years ago.

As a result, they were dragged to court and accused of staging the land grab, and may now have to fork out the massive lawyers' bill for the trial.

The neighbours' South London properties are built with gardens backing onto each other, and the row started when the Stirretts moved in during 2015.

The pair said while there was a rendered wall at the back of their garden, they insisted their boundary line was three feat back.

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The true boundary, they said, was a wooden fence behind the wall, marking the end of the other couple's garden.

But, Mszyca and Uziell-Hamilton controversially removed the wooden fence and paved up to the Stirretts' wall in 2018.

The Stirretts continued arguing their boundary was in line with other neighbours' – which could be clearly seen looking from above.

Speaking at the trial at the Central London County Court, the Stirretts' next-door neighbour agreed.

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Neighbour Jeremy Fox told the judge that he had been into their garden before they moved in, and that the wall had been built three feet into it.

Fox said he had watched from his top-floor room as the builder erected the wall.

He said when he went to tell the builder he was in the wrong place, was told it was because he wanted to avoid trouble with Mszyca and Uziell-Hamilton.

Fox said: "He told me he had some kind of disagreement with the occupiers of the rear property and he couldn't be bothered with it, so he put it where he did."

But, Mszyca and Uziell-Hamilton always argued they had not encroached onto the neighbours' property.

Their lawyer, Ezra MacDonald, said the fence in their garden had been put up by the builders to give them some privacy while the wall was constructed.

But, they said, it was in fact fully inside their garden and had effectively cut them off from what had been their flower bed.

He couldn't be bothered with it, so he put it where he did.

MacDonald said: "When Mr and Mrs Stirrett purchased their property in 2015, the garden…was clearly bounded by a permanent, rendered, block wall.

"There was no access to the strip of land between the block wall and the fence behind.

"It would have been abundantly clear to any reasonable layman that he was buying the property up to, and bounded by, the block wall.

"The true legal boundary is – and always has been – along the west face of the block wall."

This week Judge David Saunders ruled in favour of the Stirretts, saying their evidence was more "precise" as it included actual photographs.

He said: "It is more likely than not that the developers at that time would have constructed the rear walls to the properties in a straight line with a continuous back wall passing between the properties.

"I find for the claimants. The appropriate relief is for me to declare that the boundary is as shown on the plan annexed to the claimants’ particulars of claim, which I recommend be subject to a proper survey to determine its accuracy.

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"In addition, I order an injunction restraining the defendants from trespassing on the land, together with an order for possession of the disputed land."

The Judge said a further hearing would be held to decide on who pays the costs of the trial.

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