An Unpaid Debt for £230 dramatically paved the way for a majestic Scottish castle being seized by Scottish Sheriff Officers last week.
The Owners of the Scottish castle were after a battle over a £230 unpaid debt dating back 25 years. With continued costs being added, the debt rose to £30,000.
Eventually, Businesswoman Marian Van Overwaele was made bankrupt in 2000. This was after she repeatedly refused to pay the £230 bill relating to a bridal wear business she operated back in 1997.
The 71-year-old has been holed up in her castle on the banks of Loch Long for more than 35 years. There has been repeated attempts to remove her so the castle could be sold off to pay her creditors.
She had transferred ownership of the castle to her brother, George Amil, after she was made bankrupt. Thinking she’d avoided losing the castle, she continued to live there with her brother and his family.
In January, Van Overwaele lost a bid to take her case to the UK’s highest court. She was not there when the eviction took place on Wednesday.
George Amil was at the castle when the Sheriff Officers arrived. Reports stated he was still making calls to the Court of Session before the eviction took place.
Amil told the BBC: ‘They are saying they are coming today to evacuate us.’
Asked if he intended to leave, he told the broadcaster: ‘No. This is our house. I paid for it. I worked hard in this house. This decree is not against me.’
Workmen are reported to have forced the door open before sheriff officers and two police officers went inside to remove the family from the castle on Loch Long.
After Amil left with his wife he told the BBC: ‘We just ended up homeless, I don’t know where we are going to go now. And the kids finish school at three o’clock.
‘It is a giant miscarriage of justice. Someone has been sequestrated for £230 that was already paid, but the whole matter is a conspiracy and a cover-up. We are going to keep fighting.’
Sheriff officers have now taken control of the Knockderry Castle, in Cove, Dunbartonshire property on behalf of trustees.
Speaking to the BBC via Facetime, Van Overwaele said: ‘This happened in Dumbarton. It happened at Court of Session.
‘All the time, there has been a miscarriage of justice. My evidence has been overlooked.’
Previously the Belgian national had tried to use an ancient Scots law, Lawburrows, against insolvency practitioner Cameron Russell.
Last July, the Court of Session upheld an earlier decision to allow the bankruptcy trustee to evict the family and take control of the castle.
The law lords ruled against Van Overwaele and her brother because they failed to attend court.
At a Court of Session hearing in January, Van Overwaele was denied permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in London and debt collection action continued.