JAMAICA ESTATES, Queens — After a particularly one-sided boxing match Howard Cosell used to say, “Mercifully, it is over.”
Aida Byrne is thinking the same thing.
After two years, her battle against the squatters in her Jamaica Estates house is over.
“It says end of this nightmare,” Byrne said to me just before going back into her house for the first time in more than two years. That’s how long Winston Bailey, his wife, Elaine, and their family lived there without paying rent.
Aida estimates it cost her more than $100,000.
Winston Bailey is an ex-NYPD cop. He and Elaine contended there was some dispute over the hot water boiler. But Byrne says they only paid rent for once month in all the time they were there. And to say they were a bit unpleasant when I tried to get their side of the story is a bit of an understatement.
Byrne and her ailing husband live in Florida now. She had to come up for countless court hearings before civil court Judge Louis Vilella gave the Bailey’s the final order to vacate the premises.
So Byrne has her home back. It will need work from the damage done: things like holes in a door and another door off its hinges. And she’ll have to check out the plumbing and electrical work.
But the Bailey’s are out. Now, Byrne says she’s going to sell the place.