Bankrupt ex-banker who claimed compensation for ‘distress’ to his mother – even though she’d been DEAD for years – in vicious dispute with his neighbour over 12-inch strip of land faces jail
- Peter Bayliss claimed compensation during a row over a 12-inch strip of garden
- He and his wife wanted land in order to boost value of his dead mother’s home
- They tried to have neighbour Sandra Saxton declared insane in bid to get land
- Mrs Saxton, 73, from Westerham, Kent, now taking legal action against the pair
A bankrupt former banker could face jail for lying to a court that his mother was suffering ‘anxiety’ over a boundary dispute, when she was actually dead.
Peter Bayliss claimed compensation on behalf of his mother during a bitter row over a 12-inch strip of back garden.
He lost the case against neighbour Sandra Saxton in 2014 and was slammed by a judge for creating a ‘whirlwind of lies’.
He and his wife Kim tried to have Mrs Saxton declared insane in an attempt to get her out of the way and boost the value of his mother’s home, the court heard.
Peter Bayliss (pictured) and his wife Kim concealed his mother’s death from a court during a bitter boundary dispute his late-mother’s neighbour
The couple were ordered to pay church warden Mrs Saxton almost £90,000 in damages and court costs, on top of their own substantial court bills.
But they soon found themselves in even more trouble when a court heard that Mr Bayliss’ mother Betty had been dead during much of the dispute.
It led to an application by Mrs Saxton, 73, from Westerham, Kent, for the committal of Mr and Mrs Bayliss to prison for contempt of court.
The couple deny misleading the court during the earlier case, which was a dispute over the boundary between the homes of Mrs Saxton and Mrs Bayliss, and are fighting the bid to have them locked up.
The battle, which has rumbled on for a decade, reached court again as Mr Bayliss tried to halt Mrs Saxton’s bid to have them imprisoned.
Mr Bayliss claimed that, as both he and his wife are bankrupt, court proceedings could only be brought against them with special permission from a judge.
He and his wife Kim tried to have Mrs Saxton declared insane in an attempt to get her out of the way and boost the value of his mother’s home (pictured), the court heard
Permission was required because they were in connection with a debt owed by a bankrupt, he said.
But the threat of jail will remain above their heads after Judge Peter Wulwik refused to strike out Mrs Saxton’s application, which is due to go ahead later this year.
‘This case involves very serious allegations as to the defendants’ interference with the due administration of justice,’ said the judge.
For Mrs Saxton, barrister Philip Noble said the case was not about the debt, but about Mr and Mrs Bayliss’ alleged ‘dishonesty’ during the earlier dispute.
Sandra Saxton is pictured leaving court during an earlier hearing in 2015
‘The reality of the situation is that Mrs Saxton and her solicitors have no chance of recovering any debt from these people,’ he told the Central London County Court judge.
The couple had made ‘false statements’ in suggesting that Betty Bayliss was still alive during the case, when she had in fact died in August 2010, he said.
Mr Bayliss signed documents on behalf of his mother two weeks after her death and again in 2011, he claimed.
And the couple were also in contempt of court because they had remortgaged Betty Bayliss’ Toad Cottage, Westerham, home for £250,000 and hidden much of the cash to avoid paying Mrs Saxton what they owe, the barrister claims.
‘At the outset, it was hoped that maybe they would say, ‘Yes, we have spirited away all the money, we are sorry we pretended Betty Bayliss was alive,’ he continued.
‘We were hoping they would see sense, apologise to the court and the court would accept the apology.
‘Had they done so, our attitude might well have been different.
‘In my submission, the personal dishonesty of both these two defendants is so serious and undermines the process of justice to such a great extent that it must be in the interests of justice for these proceedings to go ahead.’
Ruling that the application to commit them to prison should proceed, Judge Wulwik said special permission was not required to bring the case against them.
‘Mrs Saxton is not bringing the application to recover the damages or costs,’ he said.
‘She is bringing the committal proceedings because of their alleged interference with the due administration of justice.’
The application to commit the couple is due to go before a judge in October, when they could potentially face up to two years in jail.
It was claimed Bayliss and his wife wanted to stop access along the strip of land in the gardens (centre of picture) and absorb it into their garden, making it bigger, in the hope they would then get a better price
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