Continuation of..... Winter V Bedford Court Mansions Ltd.

Now, briefly the case begins here. 1 page!

Winter served the documents back on BCM Ltd, and waited for some time. It turned out the defendant was away on holiday, the award was now due, and after a while, a defence arrived. Winter had crossed paths with the Ruck, the chairman in the intervening period, who had a habit of tutting towards him, and implying he was in for big trouble. The due date and time for the court hearing arrived, Winter arrived with wife and 9 year old son, defending himself, sat in front of the defendant, Ruck, in a waiting area, again tutting at him, while the electric bulb over his head was blinking. The case was delayed, all were advised to return after lunch, whereupon Winter & Co. went home, and returned later to find the same situation, except the electric bulb blinked for about another 30 minutes and then failed. The Barrister stood up, announced to Winter he was going into 'battle dress', their solicitor smiled and Ruck tutted confidently, Three professionals against one stupid person.

Perceiving his opponent as a trickster, Winter drew a statement beforehand only passing it to the Judge, on the flawed case the defendant was proffering, and as the Judge opened in court, he mentioned the flawed case and the defendant a little bemused commenced. The noteworthy documents that were exchanged had been examined. Winter, knowing what he had served, found two sworn statements, by the defendant that showed as usual inconsistencies, and a contradiction. Winter was an expert in logic, at both finding, treating, and rebutting fallacies.

  1. One sworn statement set out that on the relevant Thursday, the chairman declared that “The BOARD did not know there was any problem with Winter's electricity supply”.

  2. The other was that the circular, now sworn for truth, to all tenants stated clearly “NO tenant would suffer more than 2 hours downtime”, during which the chairman could be approached for immediate remedy, as he would investigate and take serious action upon the contractors.

  3. Winter knew he had served the Chairman both on the Tuesday as well as the Thursday, and the Chairman also knew that of course, but was suppressing the knowledge with the 'suggestio falsi' that nobody knew on the Thursday, whilst ignoring his own service for Tuesday.

Winter was not too conversant with the CPR at that time, and as the hearing opened, the defendant opened with a technicality, later understood by Winter, that service of the documents had not been received while the then defendant was away on holiday, and by some precedent, the award, which should have been defended earlier, failed and the case had to be dismissed, as to costs.

It seemed to Winter, that all had already been lost, dismissed and he hadn't yet spoken a word. The judge said, that Winter could if he wished, re-open the case and pursue costs again, but the process might well cost 5-10 thousand pounds. Winter was quite wealthy at that time, and would not think twice on such a traversal, but asked if he could consult his family on the rear benches.

Mrs. W, said that facing a Summer of disruption was hardly worth the exercise, and Winter returned to the judge. He asked the Judge if he could speak plainly, and ask a question of the Defendant, on the affirmative, he said, turning to the defendants loudly “I will let you off!, but, take notice, if ever you cross my path in this fashion again, I will not hesitate to take you to the cleaners, battle dress and all”.

Turning back to the Judge, he was told, “You are perfectly entitled to say that Mr. Winter”, he than requested if the Judge would ask just one question through him. By this time he was livid, and needed a pause to consider how to frame it, his mind had gone so blank he couldn't even see what he was looking at. Recalling a short book on advocacy he had ready a few weeks earlier, he remembered it recounting that, sometimes in court one' s mind goes blank, and bearing in mind that nobody is acquainted with one's mannerisms, if such occurred, one should do something like,”ask for a brief pause while looking up something, and turn a few pages, whereupon it all returns”. This he calculated was due to lowering the threshold of tension, allowing the subconscious contents to thrust into consciousness.

He asked a moment in time, bowed his head down to the folder and turned a few pages, and within an eternity of something like 3 seconds it came flooding back. He turned to the defendants, with a piercing look into each pair of eyes, and asked;

“Bearing in mind that the downtime for electricity was a maximum of 2 hours, and bearing in mind that the reconnection took some 90 hours, merely requiring a box opened and a switch turned; how does the defendant reconcile the board's NOT knowing anything about the problem until Thursday, when HE, the chairman of the board was served with the injunction notice on the Tuesday?” (remember it is not possible for the board NOT to know if one member of the board DOES know).

The defendant blanched as his barrister turned to him for the response. A brief exchange ensued,Winter remained focussed on each of their eyes intensely, and the barrister returned; “Your Honour, I am instructed to say...............” at which point Winter no longer took in what was being said. That was enough. If the barrister's reply was framed in a manner that he was instructed, then he clearly was no longer acting on his own beliefs, stating what he had instructions to say only. One thing for sure, the defendant could NOT reconcile the inconsistency and it showed distinctly in his composure and pallid expression.

After a few more moments, the Judge asked Winter if there was anything more, there wasn't, and then the barrister asked very very meekly if His Honour would allow them costs in the action?

The Judge, looked up a the ceiling, laughing as he said, “ I think the least you can do is to take away your own costs don't you? Amidst the sound of the defendant exiting the courtroom with a load bang as the door returned on its hinge. The Judge left the court asking the barrister to draw up the necessary papers to discontinue, and settle the matter as ordered. Winter's nine year old son came running to the front, smiling widely, and on the judges return was asked what HE wanted to do when he grew up, and his reply was, I want to be a JUDGE sir.

I calculate the costs of their defendant's time, Solicitors, and a Barrister all day in court were about £3500. Six months later the Chairman was sacked from his post.

The full papers on this are locked away somewhere, and time permitting it shall be added later on.