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‘Messy house’ neighbour is killed with a garden spade

‘Hoarder’: Neighbour Louise Lotz PICTURE: SOUTH BEDS NEWS AGENCY

A WOMAN battered her neighbour to death with a garden spade in a row over her ‘messy’ home, a court heard.

Debby Foxwell, 40, allegedly blamed the state of ‘hoarder’ Louise Lotz’s property for her inability to sell her own house following years of bad feeling.

On the evening of August 24 last year, the pair had been arguing over the garden fence, a jury was told.

Falling out: Debby Foxwell is said to have blamed the house next door (above right) for her failure to sell her home PICTURES: SOUTH BEDS NEWS

Foxwell had been filming on her phone and Ms Lotz, 64, grabbed it.

Foxwell picked up a spade from her shed and went to Ms Lotz’s home. As Ms Lotz hid inside, she kicked open the front door and went into the lounge where she smashed the TV and laptop.

Ms Lotz ran to another neighbour’s home, shouting: ‘Help me! Help me!’ But Foxwell caught up with her and ‘repeatedly bludgeoned her causing catastrophic injuries’, said Alan Blake, prosecuting. Afterwards, she returned home and told her partner: ‘It’s over. I’ve done it.’

Foxwell denies murdering Ms Lotz but admits manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.

The jury heard that Ms Lotz had lived at her home in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, for many years. In 2014, Foxwell and her husband Paul moved in and at first relations were cordial but swiftly deteriorated, Mr Blake said. In 2016, Foxwell’s husband died from cancer and by 2019 she was in a new relationship with Anthonie Vroon.

The couple were planning to move but had been unable to sell her house for around six months — which she blamed on the state of her neighbour’s property, St Albans crown court heard.

Ms Lotz’s lodger Liam Graham told the jury her house was a ‘shambles’ and the rear garden ‘hardly tended to’. In contrast, Foxwell’s garden was ‘perfect’.

The trial continues.