A ‘rumbunctious’ pensioner fined for digging up his neighbours’ flower beds in a weird ‘turf struggle’ over a tiny strip of land has persuaded a decide to quash his convictions.
John Weiniger, 73, was convicted final yr of legal injury and harassment after CCTV caught him creeping out at the hours of darkness to trash the backyard of surgeons James and Samantha Miller, within the sleepy Oxfordshire village of Mollington.
He had fought for years over the two-inch slither of land that separates their two properties, with a court docket listening to how Weiniger dug up the disputed turf and tossed the soil onto the Millers’ property – earlier than wheeling their garbage bins down the street and inserting his personal containers on the contested patch.
However at this time, the eccentric pensioner had his legal convictions scrapped following an attraction, with a decide as an alternative imposing a restraining order and telling him he will need to have no contact along with his neighbours till 2027.
Choose Michael Gledhill KC, who has overseen quite a few border rows, informed the 73-year-old boundary disputes ‘convey out the worst of human beings’, including: ‘They often finish disastrously and often they’ve big prices.’
John Weiniger, 73, was discovered responsible of legal injury and harassment following his marketing campaign to reclaim the sliver of land which separates his property from the house of revered surgeons James and Samantha Miller, within the sleepy Oxfordshire village of Mollington
A two-day trial at Oxford Justice of the Peace’s Court docket heard how Weiniger dug up the disputed turf and tossed the soil onto the Millers’ property – earlier than wheeling their garbage bins down the street to different homes and inserting his personal containers on the contested patch (Pictured: James and Samantha Miller with their child leaving Oxford Justice of the Peace’s Court docket)
Weiniger complained in court docket that the fence the land was hooked up to – which was really erected by earlier house owners – had ‘stolen two to 3 inches’ of his driveway, stopping him from taking his African Gray parrot out on journeys, as a result of he may now not match him into his automotive. (Pictured: Disputed flowerbed is to the correct of the brown wheelie bin and hooked up to the submit of the gate accessing the Millers’ storage)
The choice at Oxford Crown Court docket got here after Weiniger was convicted by Oxford magistrates in January 2022, following a two-day trial.
Throughout a weird trade, Weiniger had informed magistrates how the lack of the slender strip of land to his neighbours, had made it inconceivable for him to take his pet parrot Captain out for rides in his automotive.
The court docket heard how the surreal saga started quickly after the Millers, who’ve a child collectively, moved into their £950,000 property and determined to hold out some constructing work to the entrance of the house.
On July 12, 2020, Weiniger grew to become enraged on the works and ‘threatened everybody there with jail’, the court docket heard. It was then that he staked his declare to the strip of land which separated their houses.
Simply two days later, the Millers started noticing soil and hyacinths they have been rising had been dug up and dumped inside their property.
Suspecting Weiniger’s involvement, they determined to put in CCTV cameras, which confirmed him repeatedly sneaking out within the early hours of the morning to wreak havoc.
Finally – and in desperation – the Millers contacted the police and their neighbour was arrested and charged with quite a few counts of inflicting legal injury and one cost of harassment.
Weiniger (pictured left above his property) denied the fees however was discovered responsible of seven of the offences and was ordered to pay a complete of virtually £3,000 in fines and prices. However he has since had his convictions quashed following an attraction
Throughout his trial in January 2022, a rambling Weiniger (pictured) mentioned the dispute had really began almost 15 years earlier when the earlier house owners of the Millers’ home had moved a boundary fence round two inches onto what he claims was his land
The saga started virtually instantly after the Millers, who’ve a child , moved into their £950,000 property (pictured) and determined to get some constructing work accomplished to the entrance of the house
In the course of the listening to, Weiniger, who makes use of crutches to get round, sat within the court docket sporting a inexperienced Barbour jacket as he listened to the prosecutor define the case towards him.
Mr Roach mentioned that Weiniger had launched a tit-for-tat marketing campaign towards the Millers, together with photographing Mrs Miller whereas she was gardening.
Defence barrister Danae Larham informed the court docket that Weiniger had merely been defending his personal property that he had owned earlier than the earlier proprietor moved a fence close to the Millers’ storage.
Weiniger then protested to the court docket that he was the ‘finest neighbour on this planet’ and that every one of his actions had been to attempt to forestall the Millers seizing his land, regardless of the flower mattress exhibiting as belonging to the Millers on Land Registry paperwork.
At that time, Weiniger fired again from the witness field: ‘The Land Registry is mistaken.’
Weiniger denied the fees however was discovered responsible of seven of the offences and was ordered to pay a complete of virtually £3,000 in fines and prices. He was additionally given a restraining order to not strategy Mr and Mrs Miller or their residence for 5 years.
Presiding Justice of the Peace James MacNamara warned Weiniger: ‘For those who see them you could flip round and stroll away, it’s your accountability not theirs.’
He was additionally forbidden from going onto the Miller’s property or transferring something within the flowerbed which had been on the centre of the dispute.
Defence barrister Danae Larham informed the court docket that Weiniger had merely been defending his personal property (pictured ) that he had owned earlier than the earlier proprietor moved a fence close to the Millers’ storage
Talking through the attraction towards the convictions, Weiniger’s defence counsel informed Oxford Crown Court docket his consumer had ‘not breached the restraining order, notably on the situation of no contact along with his neighbours’.
The profitable attraction towards his conviction got here following an settlement between Weiniger’s counsel and Mr and Mrs Miller.
Showing for the prosecution, Alice Aubrey-Fletcher, mentioned: ‘This settlement has include session with the appellant, his counsel and the complainants on this case, that meets the necessities and wishes of all events concerned.’
Choose Gledhill heard the situations of decision revolved round quashing all of Weiniger’s convictions on the magistrates court docket, together with the £1,700 advantageous.
Nevertheless, each defence and prosecution agreed that the restraining order of no contact, ought to be prolonged till January 2027.
Choose Gledhill mentioned: ‘The prosecution don’t contest the attraction, so long as the defendant abides by the restraining order till January 2027. Each events should perceive what the results shall be.
‘The convictions of the magistrates court docket are overturned and a restraining order shall be put in place till January 2027,’ Choose Gledhill concluded.