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Rayden Engineering - the appeal

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Bad losers

Our correspondent writes ...

Under the guidance of his new solicitor, Paul Balen of Freeth Cartwight, Richard Hayden lodged an appeal to the High Court based on supposedly fresh evidence that showed his previous solicitor, John Frith of Berryman, had acted negligently which had caused him to lose the original case.

The appeal was supposed to consist of three pieces of evidence:

  1. A statement from the first solicitor, John Frith of Berryman Solicitors, admitting his negligence*
  2. Email evidence from Richard Hayden purporting to show that he had been unable to get information about the case from his solicitor
  3. A statement from the barrister representing Rayden Engineering at the October hearing, Harvey Starte of 1 Brick Court.

In the event, the statement* from John Frith never materialised and was substituted with a stement from Richard Hayden. The legal firm, Berryman, had been taken over by a company called Shakespeare Putman. Frith was no longer a partner and could not be traced to any other legal firm. Moreover, he appears to have disappeared off the face of the earth. He is still listed at the Law Society (last checked July 2011) but is not attached to any company.

The email evidence from Hayden appeared to have been tampered with to make it appear that Hayden had failed to get any information from his solicitor and this tampering appeared to have been done by his new solicitor's secretary since her name appeared on most pages and certain inclusions showed that the so-called evidence was not original.

The statement from Harvey Starte contained many unclear phrases like: 'I know that at some point I wrote by email to Mr Frith'; 'I think I suggested the pre-trial review should be vacated'; 'I am unsure when this email was sent'; 'My recollection is that I was unable to speak to him (John Frith)'; 'I think I may have sent Mr Frith an email' and 'I did speak with him by telephone before the hearing but not, I think, before October 13th.'

Since barristers charge for every minute of their time and render precisely detailed invoices, I find it quite amazing that this statement contained all these indecisive remarks. How on earth could Mr Starte substantiate his charges if detailed records were not maintained?

After I had studied the bundles of files that were to be presented at the appeal hearing, I emailed my co-defendant, DC, with detailed explanations showing how Rayden's email evidence had been fabricated to paint a one-sided picture that would suit his case. I was pretty certain this evidence would not be allowed because it is relatively simple to produce false email in printed form. The true test is to view such evidence electronically as this provides an audit trail which will show if the evidence is genuine. Paul Balen refused to supply electronic evidence and it may be the case that the appeal judges were unaware of an earlier ruling that printed email evidence could not be accepted in court without electronic verification.

But then something strange happened. At the eleventh hour, Balen introduced a new section in the appeal bundle. It was an explanation for the points I had emailed to DC. It was an attempt to answer all the questions I had raised yet the email was never copied to Balen. So how did he know the answers to questions he had not been asked?

From the very beginning of this case, there have been many bad smells. This latest incident adds another. Was email from me to my co-defendant and vice-versa being hacked? And, if so, on whose authority? We already know there were corrupt activities by Erewash Borough Council and Derbyshire Police, both of whom could use their powers to access private emails. But if such powers are invoked in cases like this, how can justice ever prevail?

As it transpired, the evidence Rayden presented was not sufficient to change the course of the original judgment: the appeal was dismissed on 7th July 2011 by Lords Justice Pill, Toulson and Sullivan in Court 7 at The Royal Courts of Justice. The original decision by Mrs Justice Sharp was vindicated and the matter is now closed.

Or is it?

Visitors' Comments

Diane Charlton of Ilkeston writes:

The level of complicit deceit in this case - from High Court to Court of Appeal - was so serious that the whole case should be referred to the Attorney General with a view to prosecuting Richard Hayden for contempt of Court. It can be proved to the required criminal standard of 'beyond all reasonable doubt' that Hayden knowingly and deliberately set out to deceive the Court with the intention to pervert the course of justice.

Hayden made the singular and positive decision to use the court process and then lied positively throughout the whole proceedings. If the case had gone in Hayden’s favour, he would have detrimentally infringed the human rights of those he had chosen to pursue through this perversion. Yet, despite enjoying the luxury of five solicitors, three law firms and two barristers who eagerly took up his allegations against two very ordinary defendants without any form of legal assistance, Hayden spectacularly lost and costs were awarded to the two defendants on an indemnity basis to cover all the expense they incurred defending themselves against the allegations.

Despite this, the litigants appear to be ignoring yet another order of the Court. My co-defendant is finding it increasingly difficult to recoup any of his overdue costs. Hayden's solicitors rebuffed his claim with an initial desultory offer of “pocket money” based on three hours per week for his time. At the same time they imposed a fine of a £25 per day reduction if my co-defendant failed to comply with Hayden’s self-imposed terms and conditions. He demanded actions that the courts had refused to grant him.

Hayden claimed in his appeal that he had spent £100,000 on the legal team he blamed for losing him the original case. Estimates suggest that he probably spent a similar amount for the legal team that failed to secure his appeal. Yet he quibbles over a pensioner’s paltry fee of £9.25 per hour - the amount granted to a Litigant in Person! Hayden should accept the consequences of the action he instigated ... and lost.

What is most interesting is that at precisely the same time this Appeal was being heard (with what should originally have been three defendants), and at precisely the same time as a County Court case was also being heard in a separate dispute with a Mr Haywood, Richard Hayden had also lodged an application with the High Court for a Judicial Review against Erewash Borough Council’s decision to grant a planning application for his next-door neighbour to build an extension. That made four (originally five) separate and distinct sets of simultaneous and active legal proceedings instigated by the same individual and this can only lead one to the conclusion that Hayden is a serial litigant (see court service definition of serial litigant) who, as already pointed out, has to resort to signing perjured statements of truth in an attempt to win – regardless of the consequences.

Incredibly, Hayden’s objections to his neighbour’s extension included loss of light, overshadowing and visual intrusion, as well as noise and dust problems. He might have cause for complaint if he had to look out of his windows at the portable cabins, cranes and the variety of heavy industrial activities he still inflicts on his residential neighbours, as he has done for several years now. It seems he thinks there is one rule for him and a separate rule for his neighbours!

Editorial Comment:

Thank you for this information, Diane. There was much more to the case that was never revealed in the stuff we published and it may now be an appropriate time to refer the matter to the Attorney General. Between us, we have all the evidence we need to prove that Hayden continually perjured himself and some of his legal advisers were clearly complicit in his actions. They should not be allowed to get away with it.

My costs for defending the original defamation action and the appeal have still not been paid, and Hayden's solicitor, Paul Balen of Freeth Cartwright, is now refusing to answer my correspondence.

However, now that the Christmas break is over, I am taking my case back to the High Court to be determined by a Costs Judge. Unfortunately, this means I have to pay out a substantial amount to bring the action but it no longer surprises me that I have to do this because Hayden and his legal representatives seem to do all they can to abuse the legal process.

But I will get the amount they owe me ... whatever it takes.

Tom of London writes (on 8 August 2012):

Has this case settled yet?

Editorial Comment:

In one respect, yes it has settled. The original case was thrown out by the judge at the High Court and the appeal was also thrown out. From our point of view, justice prevailed as there never was a case to answer in the first place.

Unfortunately, our current libel laws (which hopefully will be changed in the near future) allow less-honest members of the legal profession to trump up a case that will earn them loads of money from their rich clients. They don't care about the upset it causes the defendants because money is their only motivation!

The evidence they presented for the appeal was so clearly fabricated that a blind man should have seen through it. But still we had to go through the process and it merely added to our unnecessary torment. But in the end we won and that's what really matters.

Compensation-wise, we lost out because the amounts litigants-in-person are allowed to claim are derisory. I actually settled for a miserly amount because I hadn't got the time to waste fighting crooked lawyers. Life is too short.

I fought the case as a matter of principal and, in that respect, ours was a total victory. If Rayden's business suffered as a result, my task is done. What goes around, comes around, as they say, and I do believe that dishonest people eventually get their come-uppance!

"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill

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