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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Man jailed over house extension
The extension at Checkley Lane, St George's, Telford
The extension has been described as "hideous"
A Telford man has been jailed for three months for refusing to pull down an unauthorised extension he built to his house.

Sylvester Nseowo has been pursued through the courts by Telford and Wrekin Council for more than two years since building the addition to his home at Checkley Lane, St Georges, without planning permission.

The accountant had already been given a three-month suspended sentence for contempt of court at Stoke-on-Trent County Court in June, but was allowed a month "to come to his senses".

Nseowo was told by the judge at Stafford Crown Court on Tuesday that, as he had failed to pull down the extension in the agreed time, he must now serve the suspended 12-week prison term.

Bulldozer plan

Nseowo was in court where he argued his case, repeatedly saying that he could do what he liked on his own land.

But he conceded that had ignored several orders to remove the offending addition to his home.

Speaking outside the court before the hearing, Nseowo said he would fight against any decision to jail him.

"That would be false imprisonment and I will instigate legal proceedings.

Sylvester Nseowo
Sylvester Nseowo said he thinks it is case of false imprisonment
"I would regard that as false, because they have no right."

But Judge John Rubery disagreed, saying that although he did not take the decision to jail Nseowo lightly, there came a time when important orders have to be complied with.

Telford and Wrekin Council has said it hopes to knock the extension down while Nseowo is in prison.

The jailing of Nseowo concludes a lengthy battle between the accountant and Telford and Wrekin Council.

'Monstrosity'

The authority had already gained a court injunction ordering that the addition to the home must be pulled down, which led to Nseowo's conviction in June for contempt of court.

He had also previously been fined 20,000 for ignoring orders to demolish the extension, which planners have said is unsafe.

Nseowo's neighbours have expressed concern that the extension to the house is affecting the value of their homes.

Speaking outside the court after the case, one neighbour, Colin Evans, said: "I think it's a great shame that somebody has to lose their liberty and their freedom because of an extension.

"But I'm sure all of the neighbours will be relieved that we can finally see that monstrosity of an extension removed."


SEE ALSO:
Man faces jail for illegal extension
21 Jun 03  |  Shropshire
Illegal extension faces bulldozers
28 Jun 02  |  England
Jailed fence row woman 'fights on'
13 Sep 02  |  England
Woman jailed over land dispute
01 Aug 02  |  England


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