Hopes for life on the river sink for Pauline
PUBLISHED: 11:00 16 May 2007 | UPDATED: 12:28 04 May 2010
RIVERBOAT owner Pauline Jennings who sold her home to start a new life on the river with her partner, landed in court for illegally mooring on Ely s River Great Ouse. Magistrates ordered her to move on and fined her a total of £100 after hearing she had b
RIVERBOAT owner Pauline Jennings who sold her home to start a new life on the river with her partner, landed in court for illegally mooring on Ely's River Great Ouse.
Magistrates ordered her to move on and fined her a total of £100 after hearing she had breached the rules at the riverside.
Now Mrs Jennings claims the court action is the final straw after her new life on the Sunseeker house boat fell apart.
Her partner has walked out on her to go back to his mother and the boat has broken down leaving her with no cash to make the repairs.
She has been forced to sign on the dole as she searches for work and is hoping she can find a housing association home in the city.
"It's so unfair," she said. "I have got no power on the boat and I can't move it myself and there is no-one to help me.
"I have had to sign on the dole and it is so degrading. I have been kicked in the teeth and now I've got to pay £100 which I can't afford. "
Mrs Jennings sold her £122,000 home in Essex just over four years ago, leaving behind her grown-up daughters to start a new life on the Sunseeker with her partner and her two dogs.
She invested £30,000 in her houseboat and cruised the waterways living on the cash from her house sale.
Two years ago, however, life on the water turned sour as Mrs Jennings realised she missed her garden and wanted to sell the boat.
She argued with her partner and left to spend time living in her holiday caravan in Yorkshire.
Last autumn she returned in a bid to patch up her relationship but her partner returned home to care for his 81-year-old mother.
Mrs Jennings has been left with no electricity on the boat and no money to make repairs.
On Tuesday she was fined £50 with £50 costs at Ely Magistrates Court for breaching byelaws by mooring her boat without permission for six months.
It was the first successful prosecution of its kind brought by East Cambridgeshire District Council.
Magistrates instructed Mrs Jennings to seek written consent from the council to stay at the riverside for a limited time and to make strenuous efforts to leave the moorings in the very near future.
Maggie Camp, East Cambridgeshire District Council's senior legal assistant said: " "Despite numerous attempts by council officers to explain the situation and urge her to move, Mrs Jennings continued to moor her boat illegally hence as a last resort we took legal action.
"If owners are experiencing problems with their boat which prevents them from moving, they should immediately ask the council for limited consent to stay whilst those problems are resolved.