When BAFTA nominated TV director Misha Manson-Smith turned neighbours with eighties music hitmaker Mark Arthurworrey in fashionable Hackney, it might have led to a pioneering collaboration of sound and imaginative and prescient.
However as a substitute of a artistic team-up, residing close to one another solely sparked a six-year residential struggle – leading to an costly authorized battle that has ended within the Excessive Court docket.
This week Mr Manson-Smith was awarded £273,000 in damages after he was ‘pushed from his house’ by a harassment marketing campaign by musican Mr Arthurworrey.
The music producer, who has made tracks for stars together with Annie Lennox and Aswad, was accused of pouring water via the ceiling of his flat in order that it flowed via the lighting and electrics, in addition to repeated flytipping within the backyard and taking part in of ‘extraordinarily loud’ music.
His ordeal led to Mr Manson-Smith growing an ‘nervousness dysfunction’ and finally being pressured together with his younger household to go away the £1.2million Victorian flat in Dalston, Hackney, east London.
Collectively together with his author spouse Alex, he sued for harassment on the Excessive Court docket and has now been awarded damages totaling £273,475 from Mr Arthurworrey, 68, who may even should foot his £32,000 attorneys’ payments.
Ruling this week, Decide Mathew Gullick QC mentioned a harassment conviction and restraining order in 2017 had not stopped Mr Arthurworrey from persevering with his harassment of Mr and Mrs Manson-Smith.
‘I regard as notably critical the additional incidents of deliberate flooding that occurred in June 2019, after the imposition of that restraining order and instantly previous to the claimants being pressured out,’ he mentioned.
Mr Manson-Smith was awarded £273,000 for being ‘pushed from his house’ by his neighbour
Mr Arthurworrey denied wrongdoing however was not allowed to defend case within the Excessive Court docket
At a listening to final yr, attorneys for the couple mentioned their troubles started in 2014 once they purchased a flat in a transformed home in Forest Street, of which Mr Arthurworrey owns the freehold and ‘controls’ the opposite two flats within the constructing.
Their barrister Jamal Demachkie mentioned that ‘preliminary obstructive behaviour’ on the a part of Mr Arthurworrey, together with an incident when ‘the fuel was turned off,’ led to an earlier court docket conflict between the neighbours over administration of the constructing.
Mr Demachkie mentioned Mr Arthurworrey went on to topic Mr and Mrs Manson-Smith, 45, to ‘acts of nuisance and harassment for a major time frame together with clashes over use of backyard gate, fly-tipping, noise nuisance and refusal of entry’.
‘Mr Arthurworrey dumped a big quantity of garbage into Flat A’s backyard, together with a mattress….he admits dropping it however says ‘that is my backyard’,’ the barrister added.
‘My purchasers do personal the entrance backyard and have the correct to make use of the again backyard.
‘Even when Mr Arthurworrey did personal the entrance backyard it could nonetheless represent a harassment to dump garbage and detritus into it, inflicting a nuisance and blocking the passageway.
‘That is not all. There’s the noise nuisance, the blocking of the entry to the again backyard…that is finally six years of harassment directed at Mr Manson-Smith and his household.’
The barrister informed the decide that following ‘notably pernicious harassment’ the couple had obtained a restraining order over their neighbour in March 2017, however that his conduct continued.
Mrs Manson-Smith, who lived there together with her husband, is a contract copywriter and journalist
Mr Manson-Smith’s household needed to go away the £1.2million Victorian flat in Dalston, Hackney
On consecutive days in June 2019, their flat had been flooded from above, on the second event Mr Arthurworrey having ‘tipped water via the ground’ and into the lighting and electrics beneath, leaving them with out energy, the court docket was informed.
In the end, they moved out in August 2019 and have since let the flat out, whereas renting one other house of their very own elsewhere.
Though he denied doing something incorrect – claiming he owned the entrance backyard and will do what he wished with it – Mr Arthurworrey was debarred from defending the declare in opposition to him.
And in December, Decide Hugh Southey QC gave abstract judgment in favour of Mr and Mrs Manson-Smith, with damages to be assessed, after discovering there was ‘no materials that might permit a court docket to reject the claimants’ proof.’
This week awarding £273,475 in damages, Decide Gullick mentioned the harassment had taken place over a interval of ‘a few years’ and stemmed from Mr Arthurworrey’s perception that plans connected to the Manson-Smiths’ lease of the flat incorrectly included the entrance backyard within the title of their flat.
‘Even a legal conviction for harassment, a interval of imprisonment and the imposition of a restraining order haven’t been adequate to dissuade the defendant from persevering with his harassment of the claimants and from persevering with to disclaim their rights granted underneath the lease,’ he mentioned.
He continued: ‘It has comprised incidents of what could be described in the principle as vandalism and obstruction of the claimants’ property rights slightly than direct private confrontation of the claimants, bodily violence or the specter of such violence, the sending of malicious communications or stalking.
‘Nonetheless, in my judgment, it’s a critical and prolonged course of harassment and one which has pushed Mr Manson-Smith and his household from their house.
‘The incidents by which water has come into Flat A will need to have been notably disagreeable and distressing for Mr Manson-Smith, and particularly so given the consequences on his kids.
‘The defendant’s conduct over a few years, and however the efforts made by the claimants and the courts to curb his behaviour, is critical.
‘It has resulted in Mr Manson-Smith being recognized with an nervousness dysfunction and being prescribed remedy, in addition to inserting a substantial diploma of pressure upon Mr Manson-Smith, who has been pressured to undertake work away from house so as to make ends meet and to spend a substantial period of time coping with the results of the defendant’s conduct, slightly than together with his younger kids.’
The decide awarded damages to cowl the price of repairs and of transferring home, in addition to to compensate them for the discount within the worth of their flat brought on by Mr Arthurworrey’s conduct.
Mr Manson-Smith has labored with stars together with Sacha Baron Cohen, David Hasselhoff and Michael Sheen and has been nominated for BAFTAs 3 times, in addition to successful the Rose D’Or for Comedy Sequence, the Primetime Emmy Award for Distinctive Advantage in Non-Fiction Filmmaking and the British Comedy Award for Finest New Comedy.
Mrs Manson-Smith is a contract copywriter and journalist.
Their neighbour, Mr Arthurworrey, had a profitable 25-year profession as a file producer, engaged on each side of the Atlantic.
He lived in Hollywood, working with Ray Parker Jnr of Ghostbusters fame, and Earth, Wind and Fireplace.
He additionally produced The Associates, Billy McKensie and Annie Lennox, The Love Affair, William Bell, The Mighty Sparrow and Aswad.
The court docket heard he intends to attraction in opposition to the findings in opposition to him.