Baron's son defeated in 'feudal' row over fenced-off common

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Villagers were celebrating victory yesterday in a "feudal" row with a baron's son who fenced off a common and claimed it as his own.

The two-year battle between Robert Harbord-Hamond – son of the 11th Baron of Suffield and a descendant of William the Conqueror – and the 100 villagers of Hanworth Common, Norfolk, ended with a judge deciding the people had won "hands down".

Judge Patrick O'Brien ruled at Norwich county court that not only did the villagers have title to the 34 acres but that Mr Harbord-Hamond should pay their £55,000 costs and not park his car on the common any more.

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