Lawyer calls El­lis’ claims ‘far­ci­cal’

Marlborough Express - - NATIONAL - Fair­fax NZ

A lawyer for a woman in­volved in a long-run­ning drive­way dis­pute with Marc El­lis has told a judge the case against her is ‘‘far­ci­cal’’.

Briar Ross ap­peared at the Auck­land Dis­trict Court on Thurs­day morn­ing where her lawyer Steve Cullen said pros­e­cu­tors for El­lis were ‘‘con­tin­u­ing to move goal posts’’ in their claims of dam­age to his Wai­heke Is­land drive­way.

Ross and tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity El­lis have been em­broiled in the dis­pute for a year, af­ter Ross claims El­lis ‘‘ploughed through’’ land be­tween their two drive­ways and built a stone wall along­side it.

Although El­lis claimed to have coun­cil con­sent, Ross said no per­mis­sion was ob­tained from her, and that a land doc­u­ment stip­u­lated no works were to be car­ried out on the shared space.

She said the drive­way wall was illegal, un­safe and the stone wall crum­bling.

Mid-year the ar­gu­ment cul­mi­nated in Ross dump­ing soil on El­lis’ drive­way and tear­ing down the stone wall.

He laid a com­plaint with po­lice, who is­sued her with a tres­pass no­tice and charged her with in­ten­tional dam­age.

Ross pleaded not guilty to the charges. Photos pre­sented to Judge Grant Fraser at court al­legedly showed a 300mm scrape to the drive­way en­trance, made by the dig­ger that dumped the soil.

Judge Fraser said he was ‘‘no ex­pert’’ but ‘‘I’m strug­gling to see the ev­i­dence of dam­age’’.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Mark Sweet­man strug­gled to point it out, say­ing he had no idea what the drive­way had looked like be­fore the al­leged dam­age oc­curred.

Cullen said his client was be­ing held to ran­som dur­ing me­di­a­tion talks with El­lis. ‘‘He’s say­ing, if you apol­o­gise we’ll go away; he said say sorry and we’ll stop pros­e­cut­ing. He’s got friends some­where.’’

Judge Fraser said it was in­ap­pro­pri­ate to sug­gest El­lis had pulled strings within the po­lice and sug­gested me­di­a­tion talks con­tinue.

The mat­ter re­sumes in court next Fe­bru­ary, when po­lice were or­dered to pro­duce ev­i­dence of the dam­age to the drive­way.


Briar Ross, who owns 10 Alan Mur­ray Lane, stands on the shared drive­way with 12 Alan Mur­ray Lane.

Marc El­lis and wife Agustina Mon

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