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The facts speak for themselves

Our correspondent writes ...

If you have followed this case, you have to understand that, as secondary publishers, we are largely defending ourselves against the same allegations lodged against the primary publisher, DC. We actually published her account of the problems she and her neighbours had encountered when their industrial neighbour encroached onto the land bordering their houses. We did this because we believed then that DC had told us the truth. We still believe this.

In addition to DC's account we added some comments of our own and we published some letters submitted by visitors to the website.

For a brief introduction to the problems she and her neighbours have faced we recommend you watch this 4-minute video compilation if you haven't seen it before.

When the legal action commenced, the claimant refused to answer any of the questions we had posed so he missed the opportunity to present a more balanced view of the circumstances. Naturally, it was almost impossible for him to say anything to even the playing field because DC could offer concrete evidence to prove the facts she reported were correct. That left Raydens with only two alternatives: to deny the facts or to lie about them. They did both.

I now want to quote some of the statements made through their solicitors, Berryman, together with our replies.

  1. Smoke Pollution
    Rayden's solicitor:
    The smoke filmed by DC did not come from Rayden's yard but emanated either from the adjacent car scrapyard or from land to the west of Rayden's premises.

    Our response:
    What rubbish! To film anything to the west of Rayden's premises would have required a camera that filmed through brick walls.

    And anyone lighting a fire in a car scrapyard would be mental. I've seen the aftermaths of three major incidents involving petrol explosions. It only needs a spark to cause a major conflagration - lighting a naked fire is almost like signing a death warrant.
    Click the picture above to see my pictures of this scrapyard and ask yourself where they would light a fire.

  2. Destruction of Trees
    Rayden's solicitor:
    There was no copse of mature trees on the triangle of land nor was it a significant habitat for wildlife at all. Apart from an area covered with fly-tipped refuse deposited by local residents, the vegetation covering the site consisted of grass, brambles and briars and a single, mature apple tree. This tree was destroyed in the initial clearing process on the site, but not by our clients. The site was cleared by a contractor appointed and instructed by EBC, starting on 7 September 2006. However, the tree was destroyed some time during the weekend of 9 and 10 September 2006 - days when some Wentworth Street residents were carrying out their own clearance work on the land.

    Mr Hayden was saddened to find that the tree had been crudely hacked down when he arrived at Rayden Engineering's premises on the morning of Monday, 11 September 2006.

    Our response:
    Google Earth imagesAgain, this is all lies. The photographs on DC's site show two mature trees and a goodly number of tall shrubs - all of which would have attracted birds and other wildlife. Unless, of course, Rayden's operational activities were creating a poisonous environment that drove wildlife away. Our own evidence (click image on right) comes from Google Earth and clearly shows the triangle of land - before Hayden grabbed it - had at least two trees and was covered with vegetation.

    If EBC did appoint contractors to clear the site commencing on 7th September then they were clearly doing it on land that Rayden had already claimed because the 2.4 metre high security fencing was erected around the snatched land on 11th September. Clearly, the fencing had been ordered long before EBC cleared the land as a favour to Richard Hayden - a questionable activity by any stretch of the imagination. Additionally, vehicular access could only be gained via Rayden's main entrance because the passage from Wentworth Street was not wide enough for a vehicle (see picture). Access to rear alley from Wentworth Street

    How amazing that Hayden was 'saddened to find the tree was cruelly hacked down by his domestic neighbours on Monday, 11th September. It was actually destroyed by Rayden employees two months later on 8th November 2006, along with the other tree and shrubbery.

  3. Cause of Flooding
    Rayden's solicitor:
    It is simply not the case that the levelling and surfacing of the land in question increased the risk of flooding for the houses in Wentworth Street or was the cause of the flooding that occurred in June 2007. Particularly, the hardcore surface put down on the surface soil on the land is not non-porous, nor is there any reason why it should have been less permeable to water than the soil and rubble previously on the site. Nor did our clients dam up any previous water escape routes.

    In fact, the flooding of the houses in Wentworth Street was not by water emanating from the land at their rear. Just as with flooding in previous years, the water rose from the Erewash River, climbing up and along Wentworth Street and into the front of the properties on that street and only onto the land at the rear through the side of number 34 Wentworth Street, at the bottom of the street.

    Our response:
    More rubbish! Only a small portion of the disputed land had been fly-tipped so it could hardly be described as soil and rubble. It was mostly covered with vegetation which has infinitely more absorbency qualities than hardcore. The heavy vehicles that were driven on to the snatched land more than likely damaged the culvert leading to the River Erewash since it was not designed to take the heavy weights of lorries.

    River ErewashIt is totally untrue that the flooding in June 2007 was caused by water rising from the River Erewash and entering the front of properties on Wentworth Street. Our picture shows the river Erewash which is behind the houses on the opposite side of the road from the ones that were flooded. On page 2 of this leaflet the Environment Agency specifically states that the flood defences at Ilkeston were not overtopped (i.e. the River Erewash did not burst its banks). Fourteen Ilkeston properties were flooded because minor watercourses to their rear backed up and these did not include any of the houses on the river side of the street. All the flooded houses backed on to the hardcore-covered snatched land where rain waters started accumulating when the rain started.

    None of the houses on the opposite side of the road were flooded and no floodwater entered through the fronts of any houses.

  4. CCTV Surveillance
    Rayden's solicitor:
    You accuse our clients of having subjected their neighbours to a "disgusting" and "perverted" invasion of privacy by filming their neighbours' every movement in their gardens and in their houses on CCTV. Additionally the Webpage implies that, although our clients have claimed to incorporate safeguards to black out neighbouring properties in any CCTV filming, this appears to have been a false claim and that our clients are still filming neighbours on their properties whenever they venture outside.

    This is simply nonsense, and extremely offensive. Our clients had CCTV installed to monitor the alleyway between the triangle of land and the rear gardens of the houses in Wentworth Street on the advice of the Derbyshire Constabulary Business Crime Prevention Officer. This advice was given following a significant amount of malicious damage being caused to our clients' vehicles and equipment, as well as incidents of employees being injured by missiles (as referred to above). A single camera was installed to monitor the alleyway. It was installed with a blacking-out system by an independent professional security company recommended by the police, so that its field of observation and recording did not extend beyond the alleyway and into the gardens of the houses in Wentworth Street.

    Our response:

    Our picture (click it) shows the surveillance camera mounted at the top of the pole on Rayden's workshops. The second picture shows the private alleyway it covers to the rear of the domestic residences in Wentworth Street.

    Our questions:
    (1) Why did Derbyshire Police recommend that Raydens should install a security camera to monitor a private alleyway belonging to the domestic neighbours - an alleyway that offers no access to Rayden's yard?
    (2) Is it normal for the police to help a businessman to protect land he has stolen?
    (3) The actual tapes prove that the camera regularly monitored the rear gardens of houses in Wentworth Street and often zoomed in on bathroom windows. Why did the police and the Information Commissioner allow this to continue?

    Clearly Berrymans do not understand the meaning of the word 'offensive' if they use it as an accusation against the defendants but consider it's not offensive to invade people's privacy.

  5. Missiles thrown at Rayden employees:
    Raydens have at various times accused DC's husband (RC) of pelting missiles at their employees and vehicles yet they have never produced any injured employees or damaged vehicles. On one occasion RC was supposed to have used a catapult although such a weapon was never found by the police. On another, Richard Hayden was supposed to have been shot at with a gun, yet again no weapon was discovered. And on other occasions RC supposedly pelted employees working in the yard from the footbridge.

    Our response:
    Views from the footbridge My pictures show two Google street views of the footbridge and three views actually taken from points on the footbridge looking towards Rayden's yard.

    To throw stones from the first two points would require some considerable skills as the target is obscured by the branches and foliage of trees growing below the bridge. Even with no obstructions you'd have to throw a considerable distance and have a really good aim.

    The first clear view would involve standing above the car scrapyard (3rd picture) where the assassin would be in full view of anyone working in the scrapyard and all motorists driving down the adjacent road. This makes about as much sense as standing in the alleyway with a catapult in your hand when you know a surveillance camera is filming your every move!

To be continued as more evidence accrues.....

"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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