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British Couple Walled into Home by Neighbours

Wednesday 03 September 2014

Locals came to the rescue of a British couple in southern France whose right of entry to their home was barred by their compatriot neighbours.

Dozens of residents in the village of Brugairolles in Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon were so appalled by what was happening to the couple they came out to protest and to rescue them, tearing down a wall from the front of the house and ripping open windows and doors that had been nailed shut.

"We could not accept that they should continue to live under such terror," declared Jeannot Gach, who lead the operation to free John and Faith Dyson, both in their 70s, from their home.

The Dysons' tormentors were not French, but another British couple furious that they were using a shared lane they claimed to own. The front of the Dysons' property overlooks the courtyard of the property belonging to their neighbour.

According to local villagers, next door neighbours the Dunlops had first blocked the Dysons' front door with a large van before deciding to make their confinement more permanent.

The Dunlops nailed up their neighbours' window shutters and barred their door with wooden fence posts cemented into the ground, forcing the Dysons to leave by their back garden.

Finally, when the Dysons were out shopping, matters escalated significantly when the Dunlops began building a wall reaching up to the second storey of the house.

They also erected a notice to the Dysons which stated 'You have no right to look'.

That was enough for a local support committee, who came out to protest against the Dunlops, in the process, whistling and shouting at them.

When the local bailiff arrived they took down the wall, cleared the door and freed the shutters. Their action had the support of the local mayor, who expressed 'solidarity' with the protestors.

The dispute has been going on almost since the Dysons moved into the property in 2004. The Dunlops purchased their own property the following year.

Scottish-born Robert Dunlop, 67, who sports a long white gottee beard, has previously claimed to be the victim of three poisoning attempts, complaining to just about anyone in authority, including the Glasgow police, former French justice minister Rachida Dati and the European Commission.

The Dunlops remained indoors during the protest by villagers and Robert Dunlop told journalists covering the incident that he was deaf and did not hear what was being said.

The police have interviewed both couples and the dispute is under investigation by the local magistrate.

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