Salesman loses £1m home fight after moving into pigsty following break-up

Tristan Kirk

A businessman who moved out of his £1 million home to live in a converted pigsty after a bitter break-up with his partner has now lost a legal battle for a share of the property.

James Glessing had accused his partner of 37 years, Jane Lazell, of having an affair 30 years ago, sparking a court battle over their three-acre smallholding in Upminster.

The 63-year-old moved into the former pigsty on the land and insisted Ms Lazell had thrown his clothes out of the back door and excluded him from the house.

But she told Central London county court that she had taken a lie detector test to try to convince Mr Glessing that she had not been unfaithful, and he had voluntarily moved and still had a key to their home.

James Glessing was battling partner Jane Lazell to keep a share of his £1m home — and a converted pigsty (Champion News)

Mr Glessing launched a court fight for compensation from his former partner for the time he spent out of the home, and asked to keep a share of the land rather than the whole site being sold off.

But Judge Richard Roberts agreed with Ms Lazell’s assertion that Mr Glessing had voluntarily left the family home.

The £1m home at the centre of the couple's dispute (Champion News)

Ms Lazell said Mr Glessing had initially moved into a “cosy” portable building which was fitted with a shower, but then “chose to move into this pigsty”.

“He came out of the cabin to rent it to a friend. When his friend left, he went back into the cabin — it was his choice to move into this shed,” she said, adding that Mr Glessing took a spare bed from the house but would often return to see his son and walk their dog.

Jane Lazell outside Central London County Court (Champion News)

Mr Glessing was described in court as a “jack of all trades”, selling noodles and cleaning products. The family also sold e-cigarettes and eggs and reared pigs.

Mr Glessing said he was “deeply emotionally attached” to their home of the last 15 years, which includes the house, outbuildings and a farmyard, and did not want it to be sold.

During the hearing, Ms Lazell revealed how she was left in “total shock” when her partner claimed in 2015 that she had slept with another man about 30 years ago.

“He got that in his head,” she said, adding that she had voluntarily taken and passed a lie detector test but Mr Glessing told her: “They’re not always correct.”

In his ruling, Judge Roberts said the family home must be sold within six months and the profits split equally between the former couple.

He rejected Mr Glessing’s claim for compensation and ruled against a counterclaim from Ms Lazell for £24,000 in occupational rent over Mr Glessing’s continued use of the farmyard.