Pair found guilty of squatting above historic Lamb Inn in Romford

10:41 14 November 2012

The Lamb remains boarded up. Picture: Rosalind Butt

The Lamb remains boarded up. Picture: Rosalind Butt

Archant

Two men have been found guilty of squatting in a flat above a historical inn in Romford.

Mate Gyori, 22, and his co-defendant Thomas Bateman, 19, were convicted yesterday under a new law for squatting in the residence above the Lamb Inn, Romford Market.

It is believed to be the first time in the borough someone has been convicted of the offence.

Speaking before the bench at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court read out its verdict, the court clerk said: “The offence is a new offence, which we are dealing with for the first time today.”

The court heard how Gyori and Bateman had entered the flat as trespassers and lived or intended to live there. They were arrested on Monday, September 10 after police apprehended them at the pub.

Bateman, of no fixed address, did not answer to bail and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Gyori, also of no fixed address, said in evidence he had been staying in a small commercial room in the pub rather than the private three-bedroom flat.

“I was never intending to live upstairs,” he said.

Under the anti-squatting law, which at the time was 10 days old, staying in a commercial area of the pub would not have been illegal.

Delivering the verdict, chairman Susan Johnson told the court: “Mr Gyori’s account isn’t credible. It’s evident the residential flat was being lived in and there was no evidence of anyone living in the commercial area.”

The pair had been arrested on September 7 for squatting in the Lamb and bailed. Mrs Johnson said the offence was aggravated by the fact Gyori had returned immediately after his initial arrest, and that there was “considerable damage”.

Former licensee Jackie Howard told the court she had been alerted to the squatters’ presence by contractors who had been there to measure the pub for new, secure doors following its closure two weeks previously.

Ms Howard said after banging on the front door, which was glued shut, she had seen two men in the pub’s upstairs bedroom window. The men had then left the building, approached her and told her they had the right to squat in it. A sign referring to “squatters’ rights” was displayed in the pub window.

Ms Howard told the court she had then inspected the flat, finding recently cooked pasta and packs of bacon in the kitchen. Floorboards had been pulled up and used to cover windows and the filling of a sofa had been pulled out.

She added the damage had cost her the pub’s deposit. Gyori denied knowledge of the food found upstairs.

Gyori and Bateman are due to be sentenced at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on November 26. Gyori was released on bail on the conditions that he doesn’t enter Havering and that he reports twice weekly to a Hendon police station.

The Lamb remains boarded up.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Pictured: not the perfect crime [Photograph by Flixtey/Wikimedia Commons]

An Ilford man has escaped jail after he tried to rob a bookmakers with a tin of fish.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Chun Man Ho has now been convicted of six different sex offences [Photograph from British Transport Police]

An Edgware man has been jailed after he molested a 15-year-old boy on a crowded District Line train.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
British Transport Police would like to speak to woman pictured (Pic: Youtube/Channel Mix)

A woman has been secretly filmed hurling abuse at fellow commuters on the district line.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
The Homocide and Major Crime Command unit are investigating

A murder investigation has been launched after a woman’s body was found in a flat in Romily Court off Landridge Road.

Monday, March 30, 2015
The hunt is on to find the three knifemen

A cyclist was the victim of a horrific unprovoked attack when he was stabbed five times by a trio of thugs - but still managed to get back on his bike and keep riding.

Monday, March 30, 2015
British Transport Police would like to speak to this woman pictured in the station on CCTV (Pic: British Transport Police)

Police are appealing for information after a deaf homeless woman was physically assaulted at Wanstead tube station over the weekend.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Vroom! You could be emmersed in the action at the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship fires into Brands Hatch on 17/18/19 April for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years as 39 riders are set for two fierce contests on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Read more