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Husband is convicted after kicking in transgender neighbour’s fence

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Husband, 49, is convicted of criminal damage after furiously kicking in his transgender neighbour’s garden fence when her trimmed overhanging branches fell into his garden

  • Robert Marshall found Kate Vovro had cut trees that overhung into her garden 
  • She had dropped debris back onto 49-year-old’s property in Verwood, Dorset
  • CCTV footage showed him peering over 6ft fence and shouting at neighbour
  • He is convicted of criminal damage but he and wife are cleared of harassing her

A man who kicked in his transgender neighbour’s garden fence after she had thrown fallen tree branches onto his property has been convicted of criminal damage.

Robert Marshall found Kate Vovro, whose birth name is Paul Hockey, had cut trees that overhung into her garden and dropped the debris back onto his property.

CCTV footage showed Mr Marshall, 49, peering over the 6ft fence in Verwood, Dorset, and shouting at his neighbour: ‘come and see, I’ve got something for you’.

His wife Amanda, 44, can be heard calling Ms Vovro, 51, an ‘a***hole’ and a ‘gutless freak’ in the footage filmed in August 2018.

The couple were recorded throwing the tree cuttings back onto Ms Vovro’s property, with some landing in her swimming pool.

Kate Vovro, 51, is pictured outside Poole Magistrates' Court in Dorset on Wednesday

Kate Vovro, 51, is pictured outside Poole Magistrates’ Court in Dorset on Wednesday

Mr Marshall then repeatedly kicked the timber fence that borders their £400,000 detached homes.

Ms Vovro, who runs a sandblasting business, accused her neighbours of being transphobic and of harassing her.

Giving evidence, she said: ‘Why am I a freak? Because I dress as a woman? Lots of men would like to do what I do but they don’t have the guts so I fail to see how I can be called that.’

Mrs Marshall, who works in a care home, denied using transphobic language and said she did not mean to cause Ms Vovro distress.

She said: ‘I wasn’t thinking anything other than ‘leave me alone – I don’t want anything to do with you anymore’.

‘Through my work I have to do a lot of equality training and have no problem with anyone being transgender.

‘As a parent and a mother I try to bring up my children is this new world that is more tolerant than maybe our generation was.

‘So for somebody to say that I would use language like that really hurts me.’

Robert Marshall, pictured on September 25

Amanda Marshall, on September 20

Robert Marshall (left, pictured on September 25) was convicted of criminal damage, but both he and his wife Amanda (right, on September 20), 44, were found not guilty of harassment

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Mr Marshall kicked the timber fence that borders their £400,000 homes in Verwood, Dorset

Mr Marshall kicked the timber fence that borders their £400,000 homes in Verwood, Dorset

Mr Marshall added that was ‘not bothered’ about Ms Vovro being transgender.

The couple were cleared of charges harassment but Mr Marshall was convicted of causing criminal damage. He was fined £50 and given a 12 month conditional discharge.

Magistrates in Poole heard how there had been tension between the two sets of neighbours for several years.

The Marshalls claimed Ms Vovro would regularly park her van across their drive, blocking them in.

The court heard they had accused Ms Vovro of previously trying to poison their eucalyptus trees.

Ms Vovro she said she was surprised her neighbours were found not guilty of harassing her

Ms Vovro was accused in court of provoking the couple by 'setting the whole thing up'

Ms Vovro was accused in court of provoking the couple by ‘setting the whole thing up’

Ms Vovro's home (left) the Marshalls' home (right) are pictured from above in Verwood, Dorset

Ms Vovro’s home (left) the Marshalls’ home (right) are pictured from above in Verwood, Dorset

Matters came to a head in August 2018 when the Marshalls returned home to find the tree cuttings in their garden.

Jonathan Morrissey, defending the Marshalls, accused Ms Vovro of provoking the couple by ‘setting the whole thing up.’

Ms Vovro attended court alongside Julie Miller, a transgender consultant and speaker.

Afterwards she said she was surprised her neighbours were found not guilty of harassing her.

She said: ‘I don’t understand how in the face of overwhelming evidence there was no guilty verdict.

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