Our neighbour ripped down our privacy fence in row over 20ft strip between homes – now she's been hit with £200k bill | The Sun

A DOCTOR who ripped down a fence in a neighbour row over a 20ft strip between their homes has been hit with a £200,000 bill.

Dr Veena Paes' was accused of "orchestrating" a land grab from her three neighbours – with the bitter court battle coming to an end this week.

Her £1m south London home sits next to the small strip which the neighbouring properties' gardens back onto.

Dr Paes was accused of ripping down the trellis around it back in 2017 – with neighbour's barrister James Sandham saying it unfolded "in a fit of rage when you were not getting your way".

And after a three year battle, she was forced to stand in front of a judge at Central London Country Court where she was slammed for "bullying".

After claiming the trellis was "already falling down", Dr Paes was accused of telling a "pack of lies".


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Her neighbours – Thomas and Florence Benton, Robert Gilder and Althea D’Lima, and Kaluarachige and Mohammed Shaffi – had previously used the land as communal garden space, the court heard.

But in 2015, Dr Paes and finance boss husband Melanius began to claim Victorian documents proved it was actually theirs.

From the witness box, she said the three couples had "deprived us of access to our land" by erecting fences in the wrong place and removing a gate.

She said: "There used to be a big gap we could go along to maintain the wall, the issue for me came after July 2015 when we were blocked and didn't have."

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But for the neighbours, barrister Mr Sandham insisted that the land was being correctly used as part of their gardens, in line with the historical evidence.

HR execs Mr Gilder and Ms D'Lima only moved in in 2016 before quickly being confronted with a boundary from the Paes', Mr Sandham said.

The couple were then told they had been "encroaching" on the land before being hit with claims of "criminal trespass".

Mr Gilder and Ms D'Lima then called the cops on their millionaire couple neighbours.

Mr Sandham continued: "The correspondence escalated to the extent that the Metropolitan Police wrote to the defendants on Mr Gilder’s behalf, telling them that they could not damage the fence at number 11.

"When you don’t get your own way, you start writing letters and try bullying and coercing people into doing what you want."

Dr Paes replied: "It was the other way round, we were being harassed."

She also insisted there is a "conspiracy" between the owners of her neighbouring properties at numbers nine, 11 and 13.

Mr Sandham went on to tell the judge: "We didn't need to be here.

"They concocted this and lied throughout, dragging this out for three years.

"They put everybody to enormous trouble just to try and get something over the line, based on a pack of lies."

Ruling on the case, Recorder Green said the evidence of both Dr and Mr Paes was "wholly unreliable," with "glaring omissions" of suitable evidence to back some of their claims.

He claimed some of their evidence put forward had been "embellished or fabricated", adding it was "simply concocted to try and establish concessions on the part of the claimants".

Recorder Green said: "It strikes me as far more credible that the witnesses for the claimants were being truthful in saying they never conceded that the land in question belonged to the defendants.

"I consider that the defendants have embarked on a deliberate course of conduct to obtain land that wasn't rightly theirs.

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"I find that the claim to the disputed land had been orchestrated and run by Dr Paes."

He also found that the Victorian documents stated the land did in fact belong to the three neighbours and not the Paes'.

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