‘I suddenly saw a camera on a stick’
FILMING IS LAST SHOT IN NEIGHBOURHOOD WAR
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.
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.