William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Thu, 22 Jul 2004 05:13:34 -0400


Thursday, 22nd July 2004

Squatters Quit Elderly Widow's House

By PA News Reporters

A family of squatters who took over the Georgian home of an elderly widow
have left the building after threats of legal action.

Claire Simpkins, 30, her boyfriend Chris Davis, 33, and their six-year-old
son had taken over the empty house of 89-year-old Iris Davies who suffers
from major lung and heart problems and has moved into a care home.

They left the property around 2am today when a friend driving a white van
picked them up, reported GMTV.

Shortly before their departure a nearby caravan believed to belong to the
couple was set ablaze.

The couple had changed the locks when they first entered the property and
pinned a message to the front door claiming their rights under ‚?oSection

The note refers to the Criminal Justice Act 1977 which bars people from
gaining access to property, including their own, by using violence or
threats of violence.

‚?oThis is now our home,‚?Ě the message reads. ‚?oThere is at least one
person in the building at any time. DO NOT attempt to enter.‚?Ě

Mrs Davies‚?Ts nephew Paul Hamnett, 42, was due to have launched a civil
action against them today with the serving of an eviction order.

Mr Hamnett, who works in the care industry and visited his aunt‚?Ts home
with his girlfriend Alison Gibbins, shouted to the resident family that he
was the ‚?orightful owner‚?Ě of the house in Ferndale Road, Bath.

He said he needed to sell the ¬£195,000 house to fund Mrs Davies‚?Ts stay in
care but the sale of the home she lived in for 50 years was put in jeopardy
when the squatters moved in last Thursday.

He said that his aunt was ‚?overy ill‚?Ě with vascular fibrosis, a
thickening of the arteries, and requires constant attention, although she
was not aware of the problems going on with her property.

Two housing officers from Bath and North East Somerset Council also visited
the property to discuss accommodation issues with the couple in a bid to
resolve the dispute.

A council spokesman said it had intervened because of the ‚?oexceptional
circumstances‚?Ě of the case.

Earlier yesterday the squatters shouted through a window that all they
wanted was a ‚?oplace with a garden‚?Ě for their child.

Mr Davis added the family would consider accommodation offered by the
council if it was in Bath and had outdoor space.

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