BLUFF JUSTICE. Yafa Partner & Paddy Gormley

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1 BLUFF JUSTICE is the story of one victim's ill-fated attempt to fight back: the desperate pleadings of a desperate, impoverished, vulnerable woman, now in her late sixties and suffering from deeply debilitating illnesses arising from this scandal. Her story is told under Privilege in a series of sensational court documents. Her shocking account of the conspiracy, involving not only Ealing Borough Council, but also Thames Water, HSBC and the Metropolitan Police, was submitted to the Central London County Court, but judged to be irrelevant, and the evidence of her non-lawyer representative was deemed inadmissible. She is now under threat of imminent eviction from her home. BLUFF JUSTICE For nearly 30 years, the London Borough of Ealing has facilitated criminality at 353 Uxbridge Road by condoning breaches of restrictive covenants, abuses of planning permissions and blatant industrial pollution. Neighbours' lives have been blighted, their land contaminated and their property values undermined. BLUFF JUSTICE Is this justice? Judge for yourself as you read these pages. Yafa Partner & Paddy Gormley Yafa Partner & Paddy Gormley

2 BLUFF JUSTICE is the story of one victim's ill-fated attempt to fight back: the desperate pleadings of a desperate, impoverished, vulnerable woman, now in her late sixties and suffering from deeply debilitating illnesses arising from this scandal. Her story is told under Privilege in a series of sensational court documents. Her shocking account of the conspiracy, involving not only Ealing Borough Council, but also Thames Water, HSBC and the Metropolitan Police, was submitted to the Central London County Court, but judged to be irrelevant, and the evidence of her non-lawyer representative was deemed inadmissible. She is now under threat of imminent eviction from her home. BLUFF JUSTICE For nearly 30 years, the London Borough of Ealing has facilitated criminality at 353 Uxbridge Road by condoning breaches of restrictive covenants, abuses of planning permissions and blatant industrial pollution. Neighbours' lives have been blighted, their land contaminated and their property values undermined. BLUFF JUSTICE Is this justice? Judge for yourself as you read these pages. Yafa Partner & Paddy Gormley Yafa Partner & Paddy Gormley

3 Contents Introduction by Paddy Gormley 2 1. Yafa Partner s Witness Statement 6 2. What happened next Paddy Gormley s Witness Statement Paddy Gormley s Case Notes Part 1 78 Part Concluding Remarks by Paddy Gormley 192

4 Introduction by Paddy Gormley In 2012, the London Borough of Ealing (LBE) petitioned for the bankruptcy of Yafa Partner on the pretext of council tax arrears. The bankruptcy order was made in the Central London County Court on 1st October 2012 (case 2385 of 2012). Mrs Partner had been in dispute with LBE for about thirty years because her life, her daughter s life and their home, at 351 Uxbridge Road, were ruined by serious environmental pollution emanating from the industrial premises next door at 353. Along the way, there were breaches of restrictive covenants governing 353, blatant abuses of planning permissions, shocking instances of industrial filth, and more. LBE turned a blind eye to every one of them. The industrial works at 353 were demolished in 2005, ancient oil tanks under the ground were dug up, incinerated on site (see cover photograph), re-interred and covered up. Work began immediately to build the residential apartment block that now stands on the site and on a strip of land grabbed for 353 from Yafa Partner s driveway. Ealing Council steadfastly ignored the protests of Yafa Partner and her neighbours and supporters, including the local press, and rebutted all suggestions that the land was contaminated (see back cover). To this day, LBE still maintains that there was no contamination at 2

5 353 and ignores the plain truth that ancient trees in all the gardens touching on 353 have died horrible black deaths. A local tree surgeon suffered major respiratory problems after cutting down one of the dead trees in a neighbouring garden in Most of the victims have either died, gone away in anger and frustration, or given up the fight. Only Yafa Partner remains, in extremely poor health, her crumbling house standing as a testament to the lies and corruption of the London Borough of Ealing and its corrupt associates. Yafa Partner has sought to plead her case in court on several occasions, despite the fact that she has been unable to meet the costs of legal representation. LBE has used its superior forces of money and legal knowledge, with the help of a series of devious and sly tactics outside the courts, to ensure that the bankruptcy was ordered and upheld. Her final attempt to have the bankruptcy annulled was dismissed by the court on 17th April She has been given notice that she is to be evicted from her home on 12th May. Is this equality under the law? Is this justice? Judge for yourself as you read these pages. Each of the chapters of this book is taken from the court papers. The first chapter, Yafa s main witness statement, makes hardhitting allegations against LBE and others. The court ruled that the statement was largely irrelevant to the matter of her bankruptcy. The statement remains in the public record, however. Mrs Partner is therefore entitled to publish it in its entirety 3

6 under Privilege and without fear of reprisal not that she has much to fear from anyone after what she has already suffered. I enter the story in the second chapter of this book. Yafa had asked me, in 2011, a year before the court action began, to help write her autobiography,. So began my work of research and analysis that has made this book possible, including the drafting of Yafa s main witness statement (often referred to in this book as the Big Statement ), which she could never have done without my help. I subsequently offered to represent her in court to the best of my ability, since she could not possibly afford the costs of proper legal representation. I m no lawyer. I had to pick things up as I went along, and I made many mistakes. There were several fallingsout between Yafa and me along the way, and these too have their part to play in the saga that is about to unfold to you. And, insofar as the bankruptcy order still stands, and eviction looms large, we failed miserably. I constructed a case for her and presented my credentials by way of the witness statement that forms the third chapter of this book. When it came to the final hearing, my case notes were deemed inadmissible: it appeared to the court that I was trying to conduct Mrs Partner s case for her, but I had no rights of audience in the Central London County Court. Accordingly, none of the case notes that you will read in the fourth chapter of this book have been taken 4

7 seriously in court. I don t take the rejection personally. But I am appalled for Yafa s sake. LBE has enjoyed every possible advantage in this case, and yet the Court chose to compound Yafa s countless disadvantages by ignoring her desperate pleadings in the Big Statement. The ruling that I could not represent her in the Court was tantamount to saying that her case would never be heard in court, and so, Yafa was denied her only hope of justice. Irrelevant as my case notes may have been in the eyes of the Central London County Court, I stand by every word of them. Do not be put off, gentle reader, by the dry-as-dust, analytical style of the early notes, whereby I hoped to undermine the witness statement of LBE s solicitor by finding fault with every aspect of his analysis. Read on, and, I promise you, before long you will be laughing aloud. The parties to this case have lied and cheated their way at every step of these proceedings. As far as the Central London County Court is concerned, these villains are innocent people all. Let us see how they fare in the court of public opinion. 5

8 Chapter 1 Witness Statement dated 6th June 2013, including corrections and clarifications dated 13th June 2013 by Yafa Partner 1. I shall argue, in the course of this statement, that the petition that gave rise to this bankruptcy order is unprincipled, unnecessary, devious, draconian, an abuse of the insolvency legislation, and therefore fundamentally unjust, and that the petition should never have been brought to the court. POSTPONEMENT OF THE CREDITORS MEETING 2. Accordingly, I beg the court to order the postponement of the meeting of creditors currently scheduled to take place on 14th June 2013 pending the outcome of this matter, so that the parties to that meeting may be prevented from taking any precipitate action prior to the court ruling. 3. As a precaution against the eventuality that the court may be unable to order the postponement of the meeting of creditors, I am taking steps to ensure that each of the principal parties to that meeting, whom I understand to be The Official Receiver, the Trustee in Bankruptcy and the Chief Executive of the London Borough of Ealing ( LBE ), will receive a copy of this statement by way of Royal Mail s tracked delivery 6

9 service at least three working days before the proposed meeting. Whilst I claim no knowledge of the law, I only hope that the court may deem any subsequent prejudicial action by any party to the creditors meeting prior to the court s ruling in this matter to be tantamount to a contempt of court. LBE S FAILURE TO COLLECT COUNCIL TAX PROMPTLY AND EFFICIENTLY 4. LBE knows perfectly well that, prior to the bankruptcy order, my assets were far in excess of the sum demanded of me and, accordingly, that LBE s bailiffs could easily have recovered, in the course of the last few years, the council tax allegedly owed by the time of the bankruptcy petition. Such enforcement of LBE s liability orders would better have satisfied LBE s statutory duty to collect council tax more promptly and efficiently than this bankruptcy order, while avoiding the cruel extremity of causing me to forfeit my home, all my possessions and all hope of ever again being able to live in peace and dignity. 5. Instead, LBE has desisted from all enforcement action for the last six years, for the sole purpose, as far as I can tell, of compounding my council tax liability to the point at which LBE might credibly instigate bankruptcy proceedings against me. From this I conclude that LBE has repeatedly failed its principal obligation to the Crown, which is to collect council tax promptly and efficiently without fear or favour. 7

10 LBE S UNSCRUPULOUS ATTEMPT TO FORECLOSE A THIRTY YEAR DISPUTE WITH ME 6. This bankruptcy order is a draconian contrivance by LBE to foreclose a decades-long dispute with me by impoverishing me, discrediting me and rendering me homeless, so that I might never again be able to call LBE to account for its unremitting abuse of the powers vested in LBE by the Crown. I shall give further details of that dispute in the course of this statement, but the summary point is that my refusal to comply with LBE s demands is wholly motivated by my determination to achieve a just resolution to the said dispute. My refusal to comply with LBE s demands has nothing at all to do with my ability to pay, nor have I ever disputed my liability to council tax. LBE is perfectly well aware of these facts, and has chosen to mislead the court by pretending that this bankruptcy order is a legitimate course of last resort. 7. This bankruptcy order is an abuse of the insolvency legislation by LBE, insofar as LBE s petition for my bankruptcy, far from aiming to bring relief to a distressed creditor in keeping with the spirit of the insolvency legislation, was intended to ruin me once and for all. THE UNSALEABILITY OF MY HOUSE 8. There is no need to sell my house. It is manifestly unsaleable anyway, as LBE also knows, following a series of incidents for which LBE is partly responsible, and which began no later than I shall return to these incidents later in this statement but, for now, I need only say that the foundations of my house 8

11 suffered a major flood because of an illegal water supply to 353 Uxbridge Road, the property next door to my house ( 353 ), which supply took water from my supply and at my expense. As a result of the flood, my various attempts to sell my house have been consistently thwarted by intractable issues concerning the stability of the house and the fact that it appears to be uninsurable. LBE S FAILURE TO RENDER A TRUE ACCOUNT OF MY COUNCIL TAX LIABILITIES 9. For many years, LBE has manifestly failed to render a true account of my liability to council tax despite repeated demands for such true account. I have made many payments of council tax over many years, which payments have never been acknowledged or taken into account by LBE. These include a single payment, in May 2007, of approximately 3,500 to a council official, during a well documented incident that was witnessed by three people, including my then solicitor. I have made vigorous and sustained efforts to call LBE to account for this and other incidents, sometimes with professional help, incurring huge solicitors fees that amount to nearly as much as the sum demanded by LBE in the petition that gave rise to this bankruptcy order. Despite these efforts, LBE has consistently and stubbornly failed to explain its conduct. THE QUESTIONABLE QUALITY OF LBE S RECORD-KEEPING 10. I would like to draw the court s attention to two other pieces of evidence that directly call into question the quality of LBE s record keeping. 9

12 10.1 In June 2012, I took the opportunity, at a magistrates court hearing in respect of a liability order against me by LBE, to protest that LBE s statement of my council tax did not include a payment of 1,442 made to a bailiff in LBE, stung, no doubt, by my allegation of fraud, was uncharacteristically quick to respond. LBE very cleverly succeeded in altering one of the figures in the statement so that it now said 1,442 while, magically, the total sum demanded of me was unchanged. This was obviously instrumental in sparing LBE the trouble and embarrassment of having to reissue the bankruptcy petition, which was served upon me on the very day of the magistrates hearing, but it demonstrates LBE s creative approach to council tax accounting The list of liability orders in the bankruptcy petition itself is erroneous, insofar as the liability period is duplicated. Whilst I cannot tell whether this error is material in terms of the integrity of the petition, I suggest that the reliability of any organisation that can make such a serious error in an extremely serious legal document should be open to question. MY EFFORTS TO INVESTIGATE SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS 11. My bank statements reveal that HSBC has made a series of payments on my behalf to a Morrison Card (a VISA card scheme devised and controlled by HSBC for customers of Morrisons Supermarkets), despite the fact that I have never been in possession of any such card. The first of these payments was at the time of the aforementioned incident in May 2007, 10

13 and in the sum of 3, The timing of the sum of this transaction and the suspicious nature of both transactions suggested a coincidence too striking to be ignored. The payments to Morrison Card continued until June Suspecting that some or all of these payments might correspond to occasions when I had thought I was paying council tax, only to discover much later that LBE had not taken account of the transactions, I proceeded to make vigorous and sustained efforts to enlist the help of the Metropolitan Police, and of my bankers, HSBC, in pursuit of the plain truth about these transactions and about other highly suspicious transactions on my accounts with HSBC. All these efforts have proved fruitless, despite the fact that I have provided copious documentary evidence in support of my assertions, and despite the fact that I have persevered with my enquiries, elevating them respectively via the IPCC to New Scotland Yard, and to the Group Chairman of HSBC. HSBC S ABUSE OF MORRISONS NAME 13. I greatly fear that Morrisons may be the innocent victim of a fraud by HSBC employees. Morrisons has confirmed that the proceeds from the Morrison Card scheme were entirely garnered and controlled by HSBC, and that Morrisons would have no hesitation in assisting with police enquiries. But the fact remains that HSBC appears to have abused Morrisons good name by associating it with extremely dubious dealings without Morrisons knowledge and beyond Morrisons control. 11

14 LBE S PREVENTION OF A PRIVATE SALE OF MY HOUSE 14. In September 2012, I made a final attempt to preempt the bankruptcy order by arranging a private sale of my house for redevelopment. LBE thwarted the sale by ignoring an attempt by the potential buyer to make discovery of any information held by LBE concerning the state of the foundations of my house and its water supply. If LBE had been serious about collecting council tax, it would surely have made rapid disclosure of the salient facts for the information and reassurance of the intended buyer of my house, so that the sale might proceed and my debt of council tax might be promptly discharged. LBE s conduct of this matter suggests that it does not come to this court with clean hands. LBE S HIDDEN MOTIVES FOR BANKRUPTING ME 15. I believe that LBE was and is determined to take control of the site on which my house is built, in order that LBE may at long last be at liberty to eradicate all residual evidence of its role in the thirty year scandal concerning environmental pollution, contaminated land and development irregularities at 353, 355 and 363 Uxbridge Road. 16. I further believe that LBE is exploiting every opportunity to acquire properties in the block where I live, in view of the strategic development potential of such properties. One local estate agent describes the block on which my house stands as a prominent main road location which could be of interest to professional users. I would go further. It is evident to me that the 12

15 properties in my block, when considered collectively, would form a vast, potentially hugely lucrative site that would be of enormous value, far beyond the combined value of the existing residential properties, to commercial property developers. Insofar as my house stands close to the mid-point of the block, it is an essential target for any such portfolio. 17. In short, I consider that this bankruptcy order has been largely motivated by LBE s intention to grab my property under the guise of an arrangement designed to look like the logical outcome of a tragic bankruptcy order, when it is in fact an unscrupulous land-grab: a covert sharing of the spoils between LBE and the Trustee in Bankruptcy, guaranteed to deliver handsome profits to these two parties alone, while ensuring that no other potential buyer of my house may stand in the way of LBE s hidden agenda. GROSS MISCONDUCT BY THE OFFICIAL RECEIVER 18. I wish to raise the strongest possible complaint against the Official Receiver for his conduct of the matter of this bankruptcy. At a meeting in October 2012, shortly after the bankruptcy order, and in the presence of my daughter and of one of my supporters, he told three blatant lies My supporter offered to pay my outstanding council tax for financial year , to which the Official Receiver replied but she s paid it already. I had done no such thing The Official Receiver went on to assert before all present that, apart from the payment, I 13

16 had not paid any council tax for ten years. This was patently untrue, as even LBE could affirm He also said that my erstwhile business venture, Holistica Biotech, was still trading, despite the fact that it had been dormant for several years, and that Companies House had already published the strikingoff notice in The London Gazette. 19. My daughter was utterly shocked and horrified by the Official Receiver s defamatory remarks, which branded me as a liar in her eyes, and so it was that my previously amicable relationship with her was utterly shattered, and has never properly recovered. 20. The Official Receiver s mendacious behaviour continued after the meeting, when he returned my court papers in a state of disarray. 10 of the 31 pages were missing, and other pages had been jumbled together in what I can only imagine to have been a further attempt to make it seem as if I were a slovenly and hopelessly disorganised person, with a view to discrediting me in the eyes of the court and of anyone else who might bear witness to my demise. 21. I imagine that the Official Receiver s role in such meetings is rather like that of a prison officer who strips the convict of all possessions and dignity before consigning him to the cell. I can see how some people might take sadistic pleasure in the privilege of being at liberty to defame and discredit their victims with impunity, safe in the knowledge that there is no further hope of access to justice for the utterly defamed and discredited. But do the courts routinely turn a blind eye to defamation and mendacity by their appointed officers? I sincerely hope not. 14

17 22. In February 2013, my daughter informed the Official Receiver that sufficient money had actually been raised to discharge the bankruptcy. The Official Receiver demanded the sum of 31, I had already been warned before the bankruptcy that the very biggest players in the insolvency industry would be desperate to win the trusteeship, ostensibly because of the complexity of the case, but really because of the richness of the pickings. After all, any high street solicitor and estate agent could competently carry out the work of selling my house and paying off the creditors for a few thousand pounds. 24. I could not help noticing that the sum demanded of me in February was nearly half as much again as the sum of the bankruptcy order. I was shocked to think that these people had already conjured up ten thousand pounds worth of expenses. What value had the Crown derived from such costs? The Trustee hadn t even done me the courtesy of returning my telephone calls, so what was he actually doing? I dare say I will never know the answers to these questions but, if I was going to discharge the bankruptcy now, I was determined to know who was pocketing the money so generously raised on my behalf. 25. I told the Official Receiver that I would make the payment on condition that he first provided me with a detailed account of the sum demanded. He never did so. Like LBE before him, the Official Receiver was now manifestly failing his obligations to the court and to the Crown by wilfully refusing to exploit an opportunity to discharge the bankruptcy. 15

18 26. I can only conclude that the Official Receiver is primarily interested in oiling the wheels of the bankruptcy business and not remotely interested in justice. This man has made a mockery of his office, and of the court. MY FINAL OPPORTUNITY TO PUT MY CASE IN COURT 27. I am acutely aware that, if the court rejects this application for an annulment of my bankruptcy, this witness statement may well be my last word in an English court of law. In the paragraphs below, therefore, I exercise my right to catalogue my grievances in the public record. 28. My grievances against the above mentioned wrongdoers in the context of this case are palpable enough, and I shall return to them before this statement is concluded. But first, I must expose for public scrutiny the roots of the many-canopied tree of injustices that have given sap to the crowning injustice of this bankruptcy order. 29. LBE is but one of many villains in this piece and, if I seem to digress at this point, it is only because the true extent of LBE s villainy can only be seen in the context of the bigger picture. And it is no accident that the bankruptcy petition came from LBE alone, rather than others acting in concert: whereas most organisations could not possibly hope to bankrupt me (since my equity in my house is many times greater than the sum of all my debts), LBE s legal obligation to collect council tax offered the perfect cloak for a bankruptcy order whereby I might be silenced once and for all. 16

19 30. I should add that I have been assiduous in the collection of documentary evidence since the earliest days of this dispute, and that I have now catalogued virtually all of it in a remarkably comprehensive, computerised, fully indexed archive. Accordingly, I am readily able to bring evidence, in support of almost every fact in this statement, as I shall demonstrate in a small way in the paragraphs below. THREE DECADES OF VICTIMISATION BY LBE 31. My troubles with LBE began in the early 1980s, when my husband and I separated, leaving me as a single parent to bring up our young daughter. At almost precisely the same time, the rarely visited Ewin s Radio warehouse at 353, adjoining my property along its western edge, was replaced by a busy car repair workshop. 353 has given rise to countless problems for me ever since then, including, but not exclusively: 31.1 emanation of toxic substances, 31.2 contamination of my land, 31.3 serious contamination of and disruption to my water supply and drainage facilities, 31.4 serious environmental pollution arising from the unsafe removal of a huge asbestos roof by two teenage men using blow-torches but working unsupervised and without facial protection (as illustrated here in Exhibits 1 & 2: these photographs were taken from an upstairs window of my house) under instruction from demolition company Frank Valori Demolition Ltd, which demolition company was subcontracted to 17

20 Kewmoor Limited, and of which demolition company Timothy John Burke, a director of Kewmoor Limited and Managing Director of Kewmoor (Construction) Limited, of 72 Fielding Road, London, falsely declared to the Brentford County Court in Paragraph 5 of Timothy John Burke s statement dated 25th April 2005 in response to claim number SBF01966, which claim was an Application for an Injunction by me against Timothy John Burke s companies Kewmoor Limited and Kewmoor (Construction) Limited, although Kewmoor (Construction) Limited was not named as a party in the action, from continuing to demolish a garage workshop at 353 Uxbridge Road, from excavating and constructing foundations for a new building and from encroaching on my property at No. 351, as follows: The demolition work is being undertaken by our specialist subcontractor, Frank Valori Demolition Ltd in a professional manner in accordance with all current Health and Safety legislation and best working practices ; 31.5 and, most recently, a land-grab, in the sense that the eastern wall of the residential apartment block subsequently constructed at 353 Uxbridge Road encroaches on my land in by more than a metre along the full length of the said eastern wall. Exhibit 3 (April 2005) shows the workmen from 353 trespassing on my land and preparing to destroy shrubs in my garden. 32. The responsibility for such problems obviously does not rest solely with LBE. However, LBE has inevitably been one of my first, and one of my neighbours first ports of call in our protests against the many dubious goings-on at 353 Uxbridge Road. In the face of such protests, LBE has consistently and 18

21 unfailingly sided with the freeholders, leaseholders and tenants of 353 Uxbridge Road. It is for this reason that I hold LBE answerable for the environmental pollution scandal at 353 Uxbridge Road in the 1980s and for everything that has flowed from it, including, in addition to the items already listed: 32.1 my near fatal illness; 32.2 my daughter s illnesses, incapacitation and inability to abide in her childhood home; 32.3 the unexplained death of a near neighbour, who died in her thirties of a mysterious cancer (vociferous calls for a full enquiry were dismissed by all parties with something to hide); 32.4 the ruination of my house; 32.5 the collapse of my erstwhile bed & breakfast business; 32.6 my need to live elsewhere for extended periods because of the health risks of living in my own house; 32.7 my inability to insure my house; 32.8 the alienation of the tenants in my upstairs flats; 32.9 and more. LBE S DARK SECRETS ABOUT THE SITES AT 353 & 355 UXBRIDGE ROAD 33. At this point, it seems appropriate to add a further narrative in support of my earlier hypothesis that LBE s interest in my house is strategic. The narrative concerns the ownership of 353. This has been a matter 19

22 of abiding interest to me, of course, in view of the many conflicts arising from my proximity to 353, and I have made frequent attempts to discover the truth. 34. I am in possession of a letter from LBE confirming that Tesco (which owns the site at 363) was a one-time freeholder of the site at 353. In fact, LBE s planning department lists at least one planning application in 1998 (TPAP 07392/18, dated 23rd June) confirming that Tesco owned all the freeholds from 353 to 363 at the time. I am also in possession of a written denial from Tesco that Tesco ever owned 353, so either LBE or Tesco must be telling a lie remains a potential source of major embarrassment to LBE because it is built on contaminated land, though LBE has consistently denied this. Exhibit 4, again taken from an upstairs window of my house, shows old oil tanks, just dug out of the ground at 353, being burned on site. These tanks were badly rusted and incontinent even before the burning began, and it was evident that they must have leaked considerable toxic waste under the ground at 353. The remaining vestiges were crushed and buried and, as Exhibit 5 shows, the site was levelled so that work could begin immediately to construct the apartment block now standing at I am alarmed to see that another large apartment block has recently been constructed, by the same company that appears to manage 353, on the site of the former bus station near Acton police station. I am acquainted with some of the traders there, and they tell me that their cellars are still subjected to pollution from the contaminated land under the former bus station. 20

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