A couple who live on ‘millionaire’s row’ have been forced to pay £50,000 after a six-year row with their neighbour over access to an orchard.

Guy Ker and his partner Rue Swabey – who have pursued the row since 2016 – were ruled to be ‘blinkered, obsessive and unreasonable’ by Oxford County Court.

They claimed neighbour Cartin Weston had ‘persistently’ blocked the track leading to their orchard on Pound Hill, Oxfordshire – despite the fact the road lead directly to Ms Weston’s house.

The couple also alleged that she had ‘placed bins’, parked vehicles and ‘authorized contractors’ to park skips, vans and a cement mixer over the track on the road.

However, Judge Melissa Clarke threw out all but one of the more than 60 allegations of ‘substantial interference’ over the couple’s right of way on the track.

She accused Mr Ker, who had been caught on camera ‘throwing’ his neighbour’s bins into a hedge, of ‘speechifying’ in his evidence during the trial, and his evidence bore ‘no relation to reality’.

The judge added that if there was any wrongdoing, it was Mr Ker and Ms Swabey’s ‘controlling of the track in an attempt to entirely control Ms Weston’s use of it’.

During their attempts to stop Ms Weston using the track, the couple had installed a gate, despite not owning the road.

Of course, it is not their track to control,’ the judge added.

She also accused the claimants of taking a ‘blinkered, obsessive and unreasonable’ approach.

And noting that Mr Ker had continued to report the alleged ‘obstructions’ to police as a way of ‘logging’ them – even after being told by police it was a civil matter – Judge Clarke said the man ‘did not seem to see any issues with wasting police resources’.

The couple were even caught out ‘manufacturing’ evidence of the matter.

One example being a photo showing Ms Weston’s car being parked across the track, with Mr Ker’s orange vehicle trying to gain access to the orchard.

However, CCTV footage from Ms Weston’s property showed a ‘different reality’, the judge said.

One anonymous neighbour said that the case had been no surprise to them.

They said: ‘They’ve come after me before they started this new case.’

And describing the scale of their land holdings behind their property, the neighbour added sarcastically: ‘It must be a tough living up there with all that.’

They added: ‘Nobody has ever owned that driveway into the orchard as far as I’m aware, certainly not while I’ve lived here.’

The judge ordered the claimants pay £50,000 towards Ms Weston’s legal fees, plus interest. They have 21 days to pay. – Metro UK

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