A Hanworth vicar who unearthed a centuries-old tithe to claim money off residents living near his church has been defeated in court.
The two-year legal wrangle over just £58 may sound like a lot of effort but for Jane Harris, formerly of Elmgate Avenue, in the Rookeries Estate, the reward was well worth the wait.
Mrs Harris was adamant that the £6 she was charged by Rev Paul Williamson of St George's Church for each year she spent at the address should have been shared by all 270 residents of the Rookeries Estate rather than being paid per dwelling, meaning each resident owed just 2p per year - and a judge agreed.
Summing up at the hearing at Brentford County Court on Wednesday Judge Plaskow said: "This is a dispute which has some history to it. Not just because we've had to look back some 200 years to find out where the rent originates from but also because this is the second time proceedings have been brought to court.
"In my judgement Mrs Harris had a liability, along with everyone else on the estate, to pay £6 a year. For the reasons I have given, she is entitled to be reimbursed."
Although Mrs Harris's legal costs dwarf the amount she was able to reclaim, it does mean that each Rookeries resident will save s5.98 a year from now on.
Mrs Harris said: "This has never been about the money for me. It has cost me far more than the £24 and costs I was able to claim but my point has been upheld, and that's what matters. I just don't think Rev Williamson should be able to go around demanding all this money from people and the court has agreed with me again."