A veteran Crown Prosecution Service lawyer has revealed that he and his wife are trying to evict squatters from their holiday home in Spain after arriving for a sun break with their children and finding other family and other strangers inside. .
Marc Robinson, head of the CPS Extradition Unit, is involved in a legal battle in Ibiza to get the holiday home back after flying to Ibiza during the Easter vacation to discover that the locks had been changed, Spanish media El Objective revealed today.
The Robinsons flew to the Spanish island with their daughters on April 4 and discovered the lights were on and someone was on their property in San Antonio Township, the publication reported.
The couple called police, who spoke to a man inside who admitted he was there with his wife and two children because he “didn’t have anywhere else to live.”
Mrs Robinson told The Objective: “It seems they have been selling our belongings.” We are sure that an expensive bicycle we had at home is no longer there.
“When we finally get access we will have to see if we end up charging them with theft or criminal damage.”
A friendly neighbor is believed to have told the Robinsons that they saw at least four other men in the yard when the officers left.
Mr Robinson’s wife Sophie told The Objective that almost a month later they are still trying to recover their property after filing two separate complaints with a local court.
One is a lawsuit against the squatters that, according to what he told the publication, has not even been admitted for processing yet.
Mrs Robinson added: “The police report has not yet reached the court and preliminary proceedings to evict them from our home have not yet been opened.
“The Civil Guard told us that they couldn’t do anything because when they arrived there was only a man, a woman and two children who they couldn’t evict without a court order because they say they are a family and don’t have anywhere else to live.
“But we know there are more people in the house and it should be easy for the police to prove it.”
“We do not understand how it is possible that there is a legal vacuum regarding squatters in Spain.”
Revealing that the couple had contacted a private “illegal eviction” company to try to resolve the situation, he added: “They are in Ibiza talking to the people who have taken over our house.”
‘We want them to leave as soon as possible.
Mr Robinson, who studied history at the London School of Economics and Political Science before studying law at Chester, was a trainee solicitor in London and Hong Kong before becoming a university law professor and then joining the CPS in March 2004.
He describes online how he “started prosecuting at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and West London Youth Court” while handling cases at the Crown Court and graduating to prosecuting kidnappings and serious money laundering cases.
He moved to the Old Bailey Homicide Squad in 2008.
In later years, before taking up his current role as head of unit in the CPS Extradition Unit, he worked as the UK’s liaison magistrate with Spain and assisted the Spanish Ministry of Justice with the formation of the Spanish Money Recovery Office. Assets.
The story is the latest in a series of similar accounts of people arriving in Spain and discovering that their properties have been taken over by squatters.
In July 2020, a British family had to cancel their holiday after squatters broke into their luxury home in Jávea, north of Benidorm, and illegally occupied it.
A housekeeper found the five-bedroom property broken locks and strangers’ clothes hanging on a clothesline when she went to prepare the villa for the arrival of the British.
The owners ended up paying the squatters ten nights in a shelter to get rid of them.
Spain is famously slow to evict squatters, leaving victimized homeowners feeling like they have virtually no protection from the problem.
Courts can take more than a year to resolve cases and many homeowners end up paying private companies specializing in dealing with squatters or giving them cash to move.
Professional squatters know how to stay in victims’ homes for as long as possible and often pay middlemen to gain access to empty properties, including tourists’ holiday homes.
A Spanish nurse told in June 2020 how squatters entered her house in the Catalan town of Vic after she had to move to a nearby town to work and put it up for sale and was unable to visit it due to the coronavirus confinement.
Pilar Damián told Spanish Television: “I called the real estate agency to ask them to come in and they told me they couldn’t come in.
‘They called a locksmith and together with my brother and the police we tried to open the door.
“The squatter appeared while we were doing it, sat on the couch and said he wasn’t moving.
‘The police told us we had to leave because otherwise we might be in trouble and advised us to make a formal complaint to the court.
‘I thought it was going to be quick, but a month later my lawyers told me it could take a year or more.
“The squatter seems to have done this kind of thing before. A week after entering the property, he had an attorney on duty and had contracted for broadband internet so he would have a bill he could use to register as a resident of the home.
“It is terrible that this is happening to me and thousands of people throughout Spain. “I feel like I have no rights.”
In 2019, British mother Helen France spoke of her difficulties getting rid of squatters at her holiday home in Alicante, Spain.
She said that after ignoring eviction notices, the tenants threatened to kill her and even left a knife stuck in the couch as a warning.
The kitchen was destroyed with holes in the cabinets and pink graffiti on the walls and appliances.
Helen’s debt continued to grow after losing more than £10,000 in unpaid rent, bills and legal fees.
The Ibiza Civil Guard and the local courts have not yet ruled on the Robinsons’ case.