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An Englishwoman's Garden isn't her Castle

BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Messy garden woman faces prison

A woman faces a jail term for refusing to clean up her garden.

Helen Abbott, 46, from Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, was taken to court by the New Charter Housing Trust Group which manages her home.

The housing association says the amount of piled-up rubbish in the garden is "disrespectful" to her neighbours.

Ms Abbott failed to turn up to the court case but was sentenced to 14 days in jail.

Ian Munro, from the New Charter Housing Group, said: "We have someone here who has been disrespectful to the neighbours and as a consequence is causing problems because neighbours like to be proud of where they live."

Going to Jail for being disrespectful and doing what you want to in your own garden? A Free Country?


Actually it's not her own garden. You missed where it says "the New Charter Housing Trust Group which manages her home".

There's probably some small print in the lease saying she has to keep it reasonably tidy, or some such.

Even so it seems a harsh sentence; as so often, I suspect there is more to this than is being reported.

It's not her garden and she would have signed something that compelled her to agree to keep it in some semblance of order.

The garden is owned by someone else and that someone else is free to make rules as they see fit. Just as you and I are in our own houses.

And I agree with Mr Duffin. 14 days for a dirty garden suggests something else was awry.


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