Search

Court: Pair found guilty of squatting residential flat above Romford Market’s historic Lamb Inn

PUBLISHED: 18:00 13 November 2012 | UPDATED: 09:28 14 November 2012

The Lamb remains boarded up

The Lamb remains boarded up

Archant

Havering magistrates on Tuesday found two men guilty of squatting in the residential flat above Romford’s historic Lamb Inn - in what is believed to be the borough’s first conviction under the new law.

Speaking before the bench 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 Mate Gyori, 22, and his co-defendant Thomas Bateman, 19, 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 Friday, 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 will 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.

Latest Romford News Stories

A police officer is believed to have been stabbed at Parliament this afternoon.

Yesterday, 16:37

A policeman is one of five people to have been killed in a major terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

Yesterday, 15:32

Two people are believed to have died and a dozen injured in a suspected terror attack outside Parliament this afternoon.

Yesterday, 14:49

Overjoyed at reaching her goal of being a size 12, the future looked bright for Helen Heagren.

Yesterday, 12:50

I was never one of those little girls who daydreamed about getting married – I wasn’t adverse to it but was just more interested in learning to drive and finding the cure to frizz-prone hair, the latter proving to be an life-long mission.

Yesterday, 12:07

If you’re planning to take your mum out for Mother’s Day, take the train – and take her for free.

Yesterday, 12:03

It’s sadly an all–too–common occurrence: hitting it off with someone in a bar, then they do or say something that makes you feel vulnerable and unsafe. Now a campaign has been launched to help people discretely ask for help from bar staff before the situation escalates.

Yesterday, 11:04

On a mission to brighten up the town centre with a splash of colour and creativity, a community-minded team will soon welcome a world-renowned graffiti artist to leave his mark.

Live

Yesterday, 16:37

A policeman is one of five people to have been killed in a major terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

View Live

Breaking News

Yesterday, 16:21

A police officer is believed to have been stabbed at Parliament this afternoon.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now