PREMIER League legend Robbie Keane and his wife have won a £300,000 fight to kick an OAP out of their £3.8m mansion.
The former Spurs and Ireland striker, 42, and his TV star spouse Claudine have been locked in an emotional three-year court battle.
Robbie Keane and his wife Claudine have been locked in a three-year court battle
Sandi St Paul and Stewart Lawrence have been renting out their family home
The gated five-bedroom mansion is situated in Hertfordshire
Fashion boss Sandi St Paul, 74, and her musician friend Stewart Lawrence have been renting out their family home in Hertfordshire since December 2019.
This week the Keanes told Central London County Court the pair owe them nearly £300,000 in back rent.
Mrs Keane, 42, a former Miss Ireland contestant, claimed she had been reduced to tears and was left ‘begging’ for access to her home during the row.
The ex-footballer and his wife let their house after Mr Keane secured coaching jobs in Middlesbrough and Ireland.
They became more and more at odds with Ms St Paul and Mr Lawrence, who was a drummer for sixties icon Donovan, after rent payments stopped in April 2020.
Ms St Paul, who as well as being a property developer has run a string of fashion boutiques, told Judge Heather Baucher that she and Mr Lawrence had withheld rent on the £8,000-a-month house.
She alleged they had been left with ‘no heating or hot water for two winters’ by their famous landlords, adding that she felt the stress of the situation had led to her having a stroke.
But the judge has now ordered her out of the house – on pain of being evicted by High Court sheriffs.
Ms St Paul and Mr Lawrence were also handed a bill for £292,192 rent arrears, plus £70,000 towards Mr and Mrs Keane’s legal fees.
The gated five-bedroom mansion boasts extensive gardens and a cinema room.
Mr Lawrence moved out of the property around a year ago, leaving Ms St Paul, who was his guarantor for the rent, in occupation of the house, although she was not named on the tenancy.
Ms St Paul, who attended court in a wheelchair and without a lawyer, accused Mrs Keane of ignoring ‘heartfelt emails’ which she and Mr Lawrence sent pleading for an out-of-court ‘resolution’.
Mrs Keane explained tensions had been ramped up to fever pitch when there was a serious leak at the property and workmen were refused access to fix it.
“When there was a leak I begged you to let workers in and you refused. I cried on that phonecall and begged you ‘please don’t destroy my property’,” she said.
Of Mr Lawrence, she added: “We were told because he was a famous person we were not allowed to have his telephone number. We have never seen him. I’ve never been offered any money.”
Ms St Paul, in reply, said that if she didn’t answer the door to tradesmen it was because of her health problems.
“I was hospitalised twice and had to take bed rest,” she said. “If somebody were to knock on the door I wouldn’t hear them from my window.
“Nobody was ever refused entry to that house. We’ve never been anything less than pleasant to anybody who came round even after my second stroke.”
The court heard that Mr Lawrence had countersued the Keanes in a bid to offset the rent arrears against alleged failures to make repairs to the property, including a faulty entrance buzzer and to the underfloor heating system which Ms St Paul slammed as ‘absolute rubbish’.
But the judge dismissed the counterclaim due to lack of evidence supporting it.
Striking out the bid to offset the back rent, Judge Baucher said both defendants had failed to engage with the owners of the house to ‘allow access to assess disrepair’.
Speaking outside court after the hearing, Ms St Paul said: “Somebody said he was in football. I hate football.”
Mr Lawrence moved out of the property around a year ago
The ex-footballer and his wife let their house after Mr Keane secured coaching jobs
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