- Antoinette Williams acted ‘like a school bully’ during long-running feud
- The rotting fruit was thrown from a 40-foot tree into Barbara Pilcher’s garden
- Ms Pilcher said she was a prisoner in her home because apples attracted wasps
- Mrs Williams was ordered to pay around £250,000 after a five-day trial
A ‘creepy’ and ‘vindictive’ gardener has been ordered to pay £250,000 to her wasp-allergic neighbor who sued her over a tree that fell rotten apples in her Surrey orchard.
Antoinette Williams acted like a ‘school bully’ and displayed ‘abusive’ behavior towards Barbara Pilcher when neighbors clashed over a 40-foot Bramley apple tree.
Mrs Williams moved into her £600,000 cottage in Dunsfold, near Godalming, almost 40 years ago, while Mrs Pilcher bought the three-bedroom £50,000 cottage in 2010.
Mrs. Pilcher sued her neighbor when the tree threw rotting apples on her lawn every season, bringing swarms of wasps attracted to the fruit.
Antoinette Williams (left) and Barbara Pilcher (right) after a five-day trial outside Central London County Court, which resulted in Mrs Williams being charged £250,000 after a judge ruled against them over a tree that fell fruit in Mrs Pilcher’s garden was ordered to pay.
The back garden of Mrs. Pilcher’s house, which he claimed was repeatedly covered with the rotten fruit of a tree hanging from Mrs. Williams’ garden
Aerial footage of the houses owned by Mrs Pilcher and Mrs Williams, which make up the right half of the block of gray-roofed houses which can be seen in the center of the photo
However, this was followed by a campaign of targeted harassment in which Mrs Williams repeatedly looked at her neighbor through the window, failed to cut down the apple tree and placed a large smelly compost bin under her orchard.
After a five-day trial in Central London County Court, Judge Lawrence Cohen QC ruled in favor of Mrs Pilcher and ordered Mrs Williams to pay approximately £250,000 in costs and damages on Wednesday.
Neighbors first clashed in 2014 when fruit from the tree began to fall on the fence and Mrs Williams refused to cut it back.
The court heard that Mrs Pilcher was unable to use her garden floor and was made to feel ‘like a prisoner in her own home’.
Her barrister, Oliver Newman, also told the court that family members had stopped coming home because of an escalating quarrel with her neighbor.
Mr Newman told the court: Upon refusing to cut back the ‘Mrs Williams’ tree, Mrs Pilcher exercised her right to do so in June 2014, resulting in a flood of allegations from Mrs Williams that she had taken undue timing. But the tree was cut. , cut it too far and cause a bad crop.’
Because of this and Mrs Williams’ other behavior, which upset Mrs Pilcher and made her fear confrontational, she later felt unable to exercise her authority for fear of Mrs Williams’ reaction.
Nearby houses of feudal neighbors Mrs Williams and Mrs Pilcher in Dunsfold, near Godalming, Surrey
‘Mrs Pilcher, left unable to use her garden floor due to the smell of rotting apples and manure, fear of falling apples and fear of wasps, was hospitalized in 2018 after being bitten multiple times . Wasps from a nearby wasp’s nest.’
She claimed damages for the alleged infestation on the apple, but Judge Cohen said the particular issue was settled during the trial when Mrs Williams ‘agreed to have the tree professionally cut’.
However, he awarded Mrs Pilcher £12,000 as compensation for seven years of harassment which left her ‘afraid of coming home’.
In persecution, Mrs Williams frequently peeped through Mrs Pilcher’s windows, ‘monitored’ her movements and even followed her relatives as they arrived.
One of Mrs Pilcher’s daughters described how Mrs Williams trapped her mother outside when she took her granddaughter to a nearby playground.
Mrs Williams, a member of the Dunsfold and Hascomb Horticultural Society, denied the allegations and accused Mrs Pilcher of having mental health problems.
However, Judge Cohen called his behavior “totally unusual and disturbing”.
He said Mrs Williams was also harassed by the idea that her neighbors were withholding her parking rights and that in an incident in January 2015, a camera and tape measure were used to record the space taken by Mrs Pilcher’s vehicle. produced.
Adjoining homes of warring neighbors Barbara Pilcher (center) and Antoinette Williams (right) in Dunsfold, Surrey
Later that day, he drove his car to the side of Mrs Pilcher’s house, which had her grass, in an incident captured on CCTV.
She denied harassing her neighbor with her parking antics and claimed that Mrs Pilcher gave her the middle finger when she complained about obstructing her parking space.
Judge Cohen, however, dismissed the claims and described the incident as “outrageous” vandalism.
He said the parking incident provided a ‘valuable insight’ into Mrs Williams’ character.
Passing her decision, the judge said: ‘There is strong evidence of Mrs Williams intentionally acting towards Mrs Pilcher in a retaliatory manner to harass and harass her and that she lacks self-control.
‘I have not found Mrs Williams to be a credible witness.
‘He [Mrs Pilcher] Afraid to come home, his daughter no longer wants to be with him and the other young family members either do not want to visit him or, if they are brought to visit, need to be sheltered from aggressive conduct. ‘
Mrs Pilcher was awarded £12,000 for harassment, while Mrs Williams was ordered to pay an estimated cost of between £135,000 and £180,000 towards her legal fees, which her own lawyers had to pay. was on top of bills in excess of £100,000.
Judge Cohen rejected Mrs Pilcher’s claim that Mrs Williams was negligent in handling a damp issue which she claimed caused damage to her property.