Dipple dispute ends with fine for theft

Two women who were dubbed the “Nightmare Neighbours Next Door” on national television appeared at Ayr Sheriff Court this week to learn their fate.

Fiona Hope and Janet Perrie stood accused of theft on Monday after a furious dispute over events at a cottage in Dipple near Girvan.

And after the pair failed to appear at a previously scheduled trial in March this year, they eventually took the stand this week.

Hope was found guilty of theft and fined £500 but she was found not guilty of a further charge.

Perrie, who was once jailed for 22 months for embezelling more than £130,000 from the Tory party was found not guilty on charges of theft and criminal law.

The pair had rented the cottage from landlord Colin Burns in the summer of 2013 but problems soon escalated between them and Mr Burns as well as fellow residents at the Dipple Cottage.

Mr Burns accused the pair of leaving dog urine and faeces over the property and officers from the police, council, SSPCA and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency all visited the property soon after the pair had moved in.

However, the pair played down the accusations when the Gazette went to visit them in November 2013 instead accusing people of instigating a hate campaign against the pair.

Perrie said then: “It is a vitrolic hate campaign against us. If there is a problem you try to sort it out like adults, not in the way we’ve been treated.

“The dogs are just used as an excuse. The real reason they don’t want us here is because they think we’re gay.”

Mr Burns then invited the Gazette to the property in February 2014 at which he highlighted the damage allegedly caused by the pair, saying that it was set to cost him £20,000 in repairs and that the pair owed him £3,750 in rent arrears.

The drama at the Dipple was then played out to a national audience in May 2014 when the dispute was featured on a Channel 5 programme “The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door.”

At their scheduled trial in March 2015 their address was given as a farm in Cumbria.