Man sentenced after painting and decorating abandoned house while squatting

A man who was caught squatting in an abandoned house has been sentenced at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 4:00 am

Duncan Wilson (48) of Benefield Road, Oundle, was found at the Old Station House, located on the A47 near Wansford.

The house had been bought by Highways England as part of the A47 upgrade scheme.

Wilson believed he had right to live at the home as it had been abandoned - and even painted and decorated the home before a court order prevented him from living there.

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Peterborough Magistrates' Court
Peterborough Magistrates' Court

Yesterday he appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court, after being found guilty of knowingly as a trespasser live / intend to live in a residential building.

He was given a three month curfew, between 7pm and 6am, and was ordered to pay compensation of £200 and £100 costs.

Although no action was taken against him, the court was told Wilson’s brother had played a leading role in the incident, and the defendant had learning difficulties.

Alex Hinds, prosecuting, told the court police were called on June 14 last year, after the previous owners reported squatters.

By June 29, they had left - but the locks had been changed, and items had been left behind.

In August, people were again seen at the premises, and on August 13 Wilson was arrested for squatting.

In interview, Wilson said he did not believe he had been trespassing, and thought he had taken possession legally as the property had been abandoned.

Jeremy Roberts, defending, said Wilson’s brother was ‘the prime mover, but avoided any action.’

He said: There was no damage caused - the improved the property, painting it and cleaning it up.

“He apologises for it, and is at low risk of appearing in court again.”