Saturday, 30 July 2011

Ben Harp - To Hell and Back Again - Chapter 5

We know Ben Harp Narrowboat Builders are following our blog.  We will post their comments here should they respond!

Intimidation and Assault

Our legal team phoned me late on Friday 15th to inform me Ben Harp Narrowboat Builders had emailed them advising they had sold our boat in their compound at Hixon and that the boat in the compound wasn’t ours.

We realised it was highly unlikely they had sold our boat, but I did have concerns they might move it to another location where we would never find it. Waiouru would be lost forever!  We concluded I needed to get to Hixon as quickly as possible to observe the boat and follow it, should Ben Harp Narrowboat Builders move it.  That same evening I managed to arrange security coverage of the compound and also requested I immediately be contacted if any attempt was made to move the boat before my arrival.

As we were some four hours from Hixon I asked a fellow blogger (and unhappy owner of a Ben Harp boat) who lived closer whether he would go to Hixon first thing Saturday morning and follow the boat should it be moved.  David generously and willingly agreed to do this on my behalf.

I also arranged for a legal marine “Arrest” order to be posted on the side of the boat.  However it was subsequently ripped off and ignored!

As soon as possible on Saturday morning, 16 July, I hired an rental car and immediately departed for Hixon, arriving at 2:40pm. By coincidence I arrive at the entrance to the Old Industrial Estate at almost the same time as Ben Harp. I should mention the entrance is controlled by a combination lock operated barrier arm outside normal business hours.

Ben Harp recognised me and approached me screaming “F#ck off.... go on F#ck off!” He stood there with a menacing posture glaring at me. I replied “No.... I don’t have to!” I made no attempt to enter the compound and the barrier gate closed behind him.

I then turned on my mobile phone to contact David as I assumed he was somewhere close and following my altercation with Ben Harp I was concerned for his welfare.  However almost as soon as I turned on my phone I received a phone call from a constable of the Staffordshire Police. I was asked to identify myself and give my location. After informing the police I was at the entrance to the old industrial estate I was requested to go to their location in a layby some 300 metres back down the road.

At this location I found two constables, and David. I was informed by David that whilst he was parked on the main road outside the industrial estate he had been recognised by Ben Harp and an associate. They had assaulted him robbing him of his camera, mobile phone, iPod and car keys. He had then walked to a local house and contacted the police. (David has written about this on his own blog <here>)

The police stated they were concerned for my safety should I remain in the general area of Hixon and indicated I was dealing with some nasty people of whom they appeared to have some prior knowledge. I informed them I had no intention of leaving the general area as my boat might be removed. They urged me to reconsider and I refused…….  Finally I agreed to relocate to the security post at the main entrance to the adjacent new industrial estate as I had previously arranged for them to provide security coverage. I also found by walking to a local knoll and crawling through the hedgerow I could conceal myself and observe the top of the poly-tunnel covering my boat. I knew the poly-tunnel would need to be removed to allow a crane to access the boat so I watched and waited.  Once it became dark I knew there was little chance of the boat being moved during the night.

The next morning (Sunday) I returned early to the car park at the Hixon security post and continued to observe the compound whilst waiting for the police to act upon the second court order obtained by our barrister the previous day.  At approximately 10:15am; I returned to my car in the security carpark and telephoned the Stafford Police Station to enquire about the High Court Order that had been emailed to the police.

As I was sitting in my car a large black Jaguar drove into the car park at speed towards the side of my vehicle. I thought there was going to be a collision. The duty security guard ran for his office and subsequently told me he thought my car was going to be hit and he intended to call 999.

The Jaguar stopped just short of me and the engine was repeatedly revved and the car was “lunged” at me. I glanced at the driver and recognised it was Ben Harp. He was shaking his fist at me and menacingly gesturing for me to depart the area. I casually wound up the car window and locked the doors and ignored him.  The police on the phone asked me if I required assistance, but I declined.  Eventually Ben Harp drove away.

Both David and I may be old and grey but neither of us were prepared to be intimidated by this contemptible individual.

next:   The “Ringer”


Crew: Mike, Mags, Poppy and Abbey said...

Hello both.

The Harps are contemptible individuals, in more ways than one.

I would assume that as the Harps have now shown direct contempt for the court and the court orders made. At some point the court will now issue a bench warrant that orders their arrests. They will be brought before the judge and given some time to reflect on their behaviour.

We are looking forward to the next installment.

Colin said...

Just followed the link and had a look at the Harps website.
On the link 'press comments' there is a picture of a report from Aug 06 - thats a bit old, perhaps they have had no good reports since then - interestingly here is a quote from it,
He happily describes his firm as offering 'quality not crap' thats a brave boast.
Certainly is considering i've just read back through the blog of Trudy-Ann.
This guy should be in jail with the rest of his cohorts.

Paul and Elaine said...

Man I cannot believe this story, just incredible, I admire your fortitude.

Tom and Jan said...

There are more twisting in this tale yet to come!