‘I sud­denly saw a cam­era on a stick’


The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - BEN PIKE

A CAM­ERA on a stick, claims of drive-by sur­veil­lance and a build­ing dis­pute in a block of ex­clu­sive har­bour­side apart­ments has sparked a toxic neigh­bour­hood dis­pute be­tween a young woman and a fa­ther-of-two liv­ing in the flat be­low.

The quar­rel has be­come so fraught that both par­ties have aban­doned their Har­bour Bridge views and moved out, while po­lice have launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The sit­u­a­tion came to a head when the 25year-old woman, who has asked to be iden­ti­fied only as An­gel­ica, saw a cam­era out­side the bal­cony of her Kir­ri­billi flat as she ex­er­cised in sports­wear.

The cam­era was op­er­ated by 47-year-old lawyer Phillip Man­war­ring, who lives be­low, film­ing the re­sults of ur­gent con­struc­tion work.

An­gel­ica com­plained to po­lice, say­ing she felt “scared” and “vi­o­lated” by the film­ing about 3pm on May 2.

In a state­ment made at Ryde po­lice sta­tion, she said: “Out of the cor­ner of my eye I saw a wooden pole — with a selfie stick taped to it with mask­ing tape and a smart­phone at­tached to it — come up from be­low my bal­cony be­tween the glass handrail and wooden pri­vacy screen.

“I was shocked to see this and jumped up, grabbed my shirt off the lounge, and hid be­hind a wall where I thought the smart­phone might not be able to see me while I put my shirt back on.”

An­gel­ica, who lived alone in the apart­ment owned by her par­ents, said she con­fronted Mr Man­war­ring and took pho­tos.

Mr Man­war­ring said An­gel­ica had mis­un­der­stood his in­tent and her al­le­ga­tions were “false and hurt­ful”. He needed to film the build­ing’s ex­te­rior brick­work as part of con­struc­tion work.

Mr Man­war­ring said he had ap­proval from the build­ing’s own­ers’ cor­po­ra­tion (OC) and the Civil and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal to carry out rec­ti­fi­ca­tion work af­ter builders botched a ren­o­va­tion 18 months ago.

He said he had asked for ac­cess to An­gel­ica’s apart­ment to com­plete the work but her fam­ily had re­fused on 19 oc­ca­sions.

“Due to the re­sult­ing ex­treme de­lay in com­plet­ing the work, fur­ther cracks ap­peared and the com­mon prop­erty con­tin­ued to de­te­ri­o­rate,” Mr Man­war­ring said. “As a re­sult, and un­der di­rect su­per­vi­sion of the en­gi­neer ap­pointed by the OC, and my own en­gi­neer and builders, I as­sisted them to film the ex­ter­nal walls of the apart­ment as the work was un­der way, to en­able them to watch live on a screen and check for any dam­age.

“The film it­self only shows the walls of the prop­erty. The work has now been com­pleted.”

Mr Man­war­ring said his fam­ily had been in dis­pute with An­gel­ica and her par­ents since 2016 and he had made ev­ery at­tempt to re­solve it. Four days later, on May 6, An­gel­ica moved to her fam­ily’s new ad­dress in Hen­ley, a prop­erty un­der con­struc­tion. A day later she claims she saw Mr Man­war­ring’s car out­side.

“I don’t know how Man­war­ring would know where I live in Hen­ley,” she told po­lice.

Mr Man­war­ring claims he drove past to check on the progress of her fam­ily’s ren­o­va­tions.

“I was aware that the fam­ily was build­ing a home at Hen­ley and would even­tu­ally move there,” he said. “In or­der to de­cide whether to tol­er­ate on­go­ing an­tag­o­nism to my fam­ily un­til they moved, I drove past their site at Hen­ley to ver­ify when it may be com­pleted.

“Hav­ing ob­served that it was a long way from com­ple­tion, the fol­low­ing day I made the de­ci­sion to re­move my fam­ily from our apart­ment and to rent else­where. I have at all times sought to be a con­struc­tive and co­op­er­a­tive mem­ber of the Own­ers’ Com­mit­tee.”

A po­lice spokesman said no charges had been laid.

Pic­ture: Sam Rut­tyn

An­gel­ica at Kir­ri­billi

An­gel­ica says she was sur­prised to see her neigh­bour Phillip Man­war­ring film­ing over her bal­cony.

CCTV still of An­gel­ica’s new home in Hen­ley. The phone on a self ie stick at­tached to a wood pole.

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