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

Friday, May 1, 2015
Benson Igbokwe. Pic: Met Police

A man has been jailed after he held a gun at point-blank range at a manager of a Knightsbridge boutique store in an attempted kidnap.

Friday, May 1, 2015
Gulam Chowdhury has been sentenced to life in jail

The man who killed his love rival by stabbing him 20 times with a large kitchen knife has been sentenced to life behind bars.

Friday, May 1, 2015
Police have released an image of a man who allegedly exposed himself to a teenager in a Burger King restaurant.

Police have released an image of a man who allegedly exposed himself to a 16-year-old girl in a Burger King restaurant in west London.

Friday, May 1, 2015
Nur Nordin owned some of the most extreme child pornography police had ever seen - and a life-siized mannequin of a little boy [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

An international student at Imperial College London has been jailed for possessing “some of the most extreme images that have ever been seen” by child sex abuse officers.

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Police would like to speak to these men in connection with the attack [Photo by British Transport Police]

CCTV pictures of four men believed to have violently attacked a 30-year-old man with bits of wood at Forest Gate station have been released.

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Police believe the gun may have been owned by a gang member [Photo by Metropolitan Police]

An Uzi sub-machine gun has been found by police in a cemetery off Mitcham Road in Croydon, Scotland Yard said.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Pop on the most stylish eyewear around from Specsavers.

London eyecare specialists Specsavers are offering London24 readers the chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on stylish eyewear in the city.

Read more
A swastika daubed on a poster promoting Simon Marcus.

Conservatives in Hampstead and Kilburn are calling in the police over anti-Semitic graffiti found daubed on posters promoting parliamentary candidate Simon Marcus in Queen’s Park.