Gardai broke new bride's door and then arrested her

Andrew Phelan

A NEWLYWED had her front door broken down by gardai and was arrested when she refused to leave an apartment after being evicted over rent arrears and keeping two kittens.

Xing Lei Li (31) had just returned from a trip to China to have family pictures taken with her Irish husband when she got back into the apartment they had been put out of.

Dublin District Court heard there had been a dispute with the landlord over unpaid rent and because she was keeping pets, which was against the rules.

The recession-hit couple had fallen behind in their rent when they both lost their jobs. They had just got married at the time.

Li was prosecuted on a charge of burglary with intent to cause criminal damage, because changed locks had forced gardai to break down the door.

But Judge Catherine Murphy dismissed the charge, saying she had a doubt over the reason the landlord's agents could not open the apartment's locked door.

Li, of Clare Village, Coolock, denied the charge of burglary at the apartment at Hunter's Hall, Hunterswood, Ballycullen.

The incident happened on August 22, 2010. The court heard that Li and her husband, Daniel Belling, had had several eviction notices served on them over rent arrears, the keeping of cats and sub-letting a room.

Meanwhile, the couple alleged €3,000 worth of their property went missing while they were removing their belongings.

Agents for the landlord, Derek Kelly, said the locks had already been changed by the couple in a previous incident and when they returned, on August 22, the agents were again unable to get in.


They said they could hear Li's phone ringing inside when they called it, but she refused to come to the door.

Garda Eoin Kelly said when he arrived and spoke to Li through the door, she refused to open it and he eventually got permission to break the door down. Li's husband was not there at the time.

Li told the court she believed she was entitled to be at the apartment and that she got in through the rear balcony by climbing up a ladder as she had no key. She said rent arrears had been paid.

Judge Murphy dismissed the charge.