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Another sorry tale of a neighbour dispute which escalated out of all proportion in the Daily Mail:

The dispute resulted in a long and expensive civil court battle. The case has been so protracted that the elderly defendants, Mr and Mrs Dickinson may now have to sell their home. They were ordered by a judge to pay costs after he ruled that the Claimant should have access to her gas and electricity meters — which can only be reached by walking on the Dickinsons’ driveway. The Claimant’s legal fees alone amount to £200,000.

In 2009, the Claimant brought legal proceedings. She needed access to the Dickinsons’ driveway to be able to carry out building work on her property and to read her gas and electricity meters — which was now behind a metal gate with spikes on top.

The judge found in her favour in 2015, ruling she must be given a key for the gate and that the Dickinsons had to pay costs.

Judge Charles Khan said he found the Defendant’s conduct to have been that of an ‘aggressive, spiteful troublemaker’ while describing Mr Dickinson as ‘bombastic’, and revealed that he had served a prison sentence for VAT fraud.

He added that, although the Dickinsons had tried to portray themselves as both decent and honest, ‘I am driven to the conclusion that their endeavours do not even demonstrate a veneer of the values of decency and honesty’.

Clearly these parties were not the most reasonable but they would have been a lot better off had they mediated.