Homeowner wins landmark case to ban junk mail

George Arkless argued that the junk mail posed a security risk when he is away

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Property owner wins landmark junk mail case

A hacked-off homeowner has won a landmark ruling to ban junk mail which could benefit millions of besieged households.

George Arkless was so fed up with the relentless tide of leaflets dumped through his letterbox by a local estate agent that he applied for a judge's order to make it illegal.

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Now, in what is thought to be the first case of its kind, the agent has been told it has no right of access to deliver the flyers.

Mr Arkless, 58, won the case after arguing that the junk mail posed a security risk when he was away.

Credits: Stan Kujawa

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A judge agreed that the flyers, which were often left hanging out of his letterbox, alerted people to the fact he was out. He also argued that people walking down his path were trespassing.

Mr Arkless, a retired teacher, said: "It's one of those irritations of daily life that got to me on this occasion and I wondered if there was anything I could do about it. And there was.

"It's a bit of a hammer to crack a nut but I'm so fed up with these people. I've got a notice on my door saying 'No Flyers' but they still come through anyway and that's what irritated me."

The father of two contacted the Kings Group estate and letting agency a year ago to complain about its leaflets left sticking out of his letterbox and asked them to make sure they were pushed through the door. When the deliveries continued as before, he applied to Edmonton County Court, north London, to ban the company from his home in Waltham Abbey, Essex.

Credits: Stan Kujawa

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Mr Arkless said: "I emailed them and asked them to stop and they didn't. Then I sent them an email which said you don't have permission to use my footpath to my front door."

Kings Group were ordered to pay £200 damages and £50 costs to Mr Arkless. He said: "It's fairly clear the law is on my side. Anyone who owns property has a right to restrict access to it."

Of the half a million tonnes of junk mail generated in Britain every year, a fifth ends up in landfill sites at an annual cost to the taxpayer of £50million.

Anti-junk mail campaigners welcomed the ruling but claimed even more needs to be done. Robert Rijkhoff, of Stop Junk Mail, said: "Unsolicited mail is unregulated. If you have a sticker on your door saying 'No junk mail' you have no one to complain to if it's ignored."

Tonight Kings Group's Karl Knipe said: "I'm very sorry if, on this occasion, leaflets have been given to somebody who objected to receiving them."


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