herald

Sunday 19 January 2020

Trespasser who lived rent-free in empty property fined €700

Mirabella Ciuciu claimed she had right to be in the apartment
Mirabella Ciuciu claimed she had right to be in the apartment

A woman found staying "rent-free" in a vacant apartment with "primitively" reconnected gas and electricity has been convicted of trespassing.

Mirabella Ciuciu (33), who had lived in the flat before, claimed she still had a right to be there despite no rent having been paid for 15 months.

Ciuciu had pleaded not guilty to trespassing in a manner likely to cause fear at Belmont Court, Philipsburgh Avenue, Fairview, last March 27.

Judge Paula Murphy found her guilty and fined her €700.

Dublin District Court heard the new owners, property developers, took vacant possession, boarded up the apartment and changed the locks after finding it "ransacked", with rotten food in the fridge.

Later, they found the boards removed and the lock broken.

They met Ciuciu there, and she was aggressive and shouted threats.

Unsafely

The electricity had been "primitively and dangerously" reconnected and a gas cylinder was "unsafely" hooked up to the cooker.

The accused claimed she had been a tenant there through her family since 2015 and believed she was still entitled to be in the property. She had no proof and became hostile and confrontational, and screamed and struggled with gardai when arrested.

Her documents were not genuine and had a stamp and harp "crudely" fixed on in a "cut and paste job" with sticky tape and glue.

A Residential Tenancies Board hearing found no rent had been paid since January last year.

Ciuciu said she had been resident since May 2015, €1,200 monthly rent was paid and she never received any notice of termination.

She accepted her family had broken down the boards.

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