Tory councillor climbs neighbour’s fence and screams in his face over land dispute

·3 min read

Watch: Tory councillor climbs neighbours fence and screams 'do not touch my property'

A Tory councillor has said sorry after a video showed him screaming in his neighbour’s face over a land dispute.

Lincolnshire County Councillor Colin Matthews was filmed shouting “do not touch my property” at his neighbour Mark Ashwin.

He claims Ashwin, 58, has “stolen” an eight square metre strip of land from his back garden at the property in Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire.

His neighbour disputes this and says issues began to arise after he opposed the councillor’s planning application for an extension of his farm in March.

The confrontation between Cllr Colin Matthews (R) and Mark Ashwin. (SWNS)
The confrontation between Cllr Colin Matthews (R) and Mark Ashwin. (SWNS)

Cllr Matthews, who represents the Alford and Sutton ward, apologised after police were called to the property on 23 June and both men were ‘give words of advice’.

He said: ‘It had been a long day. It was an unresolved matter and I thought I’ll just tick that off before I go to bed.

‘I should have gone home and had a cup of tea.

‘Am I proud of what I did? No. Was it the right thing to do, not to be handled in that manner, but how do I protect my land?

‘But, hey-ho, it’s happened and I’m really sorry and it won’t happen again.’

In the tense video, Cllr Matthews can be seen confronting Ashwin after climbing over the fence by setting up a ladder on the other side.

He then goes nose-to-nose with the homeowner who said he felt like the elected official’s ‘eyes were nearly popping out’ during the heated exchange.

Cllr Matthews began hammering in fence posts and attaching wire along the disputed boundary that runs along the garden’s back.

He claims Ashwin is a ‘hostile’ neighbour and is ‘squatting’ in his land.

The dispute is over a two-metre wide patch of land which sticks out from the back of Ashwin's property into the most northern point of the councillor’s farm.

Ashwin claims he bought the land from a different neighbour around a year ago, who had never had any disputes with Councillor Matthews over the same land.

The retired university research assistant said: “It was so disturbing. I was totally surprised by the level of anger he displayed, his ]eyes were nearly popping out.

“He’s was acting like he had lost it totally at that point.

“I was scared and worried after the incident, at the time I wasn’t thinking. My wife was crying. I was thinking my family is in danger.

“We were all shaking after."

Tina and Mark Ashwin. (SWNS)
Tina and Mark Ashwin. (SWNS)

Ashwin bought the three-bed bungalow in 2017 to enjoy a "relaxing retirement" with wife Tina, 50, but was left feeling ‘robbed of peace and quiet’.

He said after he opposed the councillor’s planning application for an extension he handed him a letter claiming the land had been ‘bought illegally’.

Ashwin says that on the evening the video was taken, Cllr Matthews was banging on their doors as they arrived from dinner.

He then stormed off shouting that he would "climb over the fence".

The councillor claimed the video was 'orchestrated' by the Ashwins.

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