I caught my neighbours on camera dumping my son's slide & swings after row over lawn – then they blocked it with a fence | The Sun

A DAD caught his neighbours on camera dumping his son's slide and swings after a furious row over the garden – before they completely blocked it off with a fence.

Paul Kironji Gatu from Leicestershire captured the shocking moment on CCTV when his neighbours moved his three-year-old's playground equipment off the lawn and fenced it off.

The 44-year-old has been warring with the couple next-door over the patch of grass which he believes should be part of his property.

Paul had always thought the land right outside his front door was his – especially as the house next-door can only access it from his garden path.

So he was gobsmacked to discover that the lawn actually belonged tohis neighbours, the Parratts, when he enquired about buying his home.

The family had always allowed Paul's little boy Malichi to use the garden for his trampoline, slide and swings, and never used the land themselves.

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But when Ann and Ben Parratt put a price on the land for Paul to keep using it, the bitter row reached boiling point.

Paul was stunned when the couple had his son's play area moved from the grass and crammed onto his small paved front garden.

Then he found a big wooden barrier just "an arm's length" from his front door, blocking out the light into his garden and worst of all banning little Malichi from playing on the grass ever again.

The dad-of-one caught the neighbours red-handed on CCTV, shuffling the plastic play things off the lawn.

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A man can be seen carrying off the pink and blue slide before coming back with a woman for the set of green swings.

In the foreground, another man who is shirtless appears to be getting on with the foundations of the controversial fence.

"They just went ahead and physically moved all my son’s equipment to the small front garden and just dumped it," Paul told The Sun Online. "Now his play area has been destroyed, it is is all so unfair."

Despite official records showing the lawn is technically part of the couple's land, Paul claims it was “accidentally” sold to them by the council and should belong to him.

Yet Mrs Parratt said the garden "most definitely" belongs to the property she shares with her husband and two children, saying it was part of the council package when she bought her home.

The pair have offered to sell the garden back to him, but wanted a pricey £30,000 after having the land valued.

Paul had previously begged the Parratts to consider "holding off” from building the fence while he worked out who owned the side garden, so seeing them move Malichi's play area was a slap in the face.

He vowed: “This is my garden and I will do everything to claim it back!"

My son can’t use his play stuff as there’s not enough room

The devastated dad told The Sun Online: "I asked them to hold off as I had instructed a solicitor and to please wait till the conclusion.

“But no they just went ahead and physically moved all my son’s equipment to the small front garden and just dumped it.

"It’s not big enough to use as a play area like the rectangular side piece.

“They came in through my front gate without my permission, which I found irritating and is trespassing, and left the play pieces and then started putting up the fence.

"They did that by cutting a large gap in their hedge behind the tree and gaining access that way.

“I’m very annoyed about this and my son can’t use his play stuff as there’s not enough room."

Paul told how the couple had written a letter to him asking him to move the play stuff in order for their fence to go up, but he retaliated by demanding they delay their construction.

The Parratts previously told The Sun Online how the row escalated from bad to worse.

School receptionist Ann said: "It’s a shame because we were friends with Paul before all this, but it's caused a lot of arguments.

“We agreed to sell the land back to the council but not for the price they were offering. It was much too low.

“We would have sold it back and to be honest would have settled on a £20,000 offer which would have helped pay for our new extension but the council said it was too much."

We’re not giving it away. That would be foolish.

She added: “He can have it. He's welcome to it.

"We’ve never even used it but we want paying for it. Legally we own it, as plans and Land Registry prove.

"We are happy to sell it but we’re not giving it away. That would be foolish.”

Her husband Ben said: “Me and Paul used to be sound, we were all friends until this but he has made it clear he will not give up the land without a fight so we are in dispute.

“As far as we concerned we bought that land with our home.”

A letter from Leicester City Council to the Parratts confirms that the disputed land was sold to them as part of their Right to Buy.

It read: “The land to the side of the house which Mr Gatu wants to buy is legally owned by his neighbours, who bought it back in 2018 before Mr Gatu had become a tenant.

“It has never been part of his tenancy for the purposes of his right to buy, as we explained to his solicitor last year.

“We’ve offered to help Mr Gatu, by having the land valued and offering to buy it back from its current owner, but they declined to sell it.

“Therefore, it is up to Mr Gatu if he wants to proceed with his Right to Buy application.” 

The Sun Online has approached the Parratts for a comment.


If you're also locked in a gruelling battle with your neighbour over a fence or boundary, here is how to find out your rights.

Firstly, check the boundary by looking at the the deeds to a property.

If you haven't already got these, you can purchase them from the Land Registry on the government's website for £3.

This will show the layout and boundaries of the land you own.

Note that you can also purchase a neighbour's title deeds to see whether any extra property boundaries are outlined in theirs that aren't in yours.

If you're in a dispute with a neighbour about property boundaries, you can get the Land Registry to step in.

It will be able to define a boundary that everyone agrees on and will prevent future arguments.

However, this can be difficult as the Land Registry has strict requirements and needs detailed plans.

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