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Prime Minister's neighbours "go at it" in street and seek injury compensation

A case involving two neighbours of Mr Malcolm Turnbull in Point Piper goes to demonstrate the intense acrimony that can develop between those sharing common property as neighbours, and how far a neighbours' quarrel can progress within our legal system.

Wolseley Road, Point Piper is the neighbourhood of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and it seems that it has been the scene of some brawling, with two feuding neighbours being caught out in an “unedifying brawl”, resulting in police prosecutions and civil proceedings seeking damages for assault. 

Altercation over common driveway area results in police charges and civil claims for assault and trespass

Anthony Sahade and Eckart Bischoff are owners of apartments in a strata development at Point Piper, with spectacular scenes overlooking Sydney Harbour. The perfect Sydney outlooks however were not sufficient to soothe the feuding neighbours, who became embroiled in an argument over a tradesman working in the area of a common driveway. 

It appears that the altercation became physical with a brawl ensuing and police being called. Mr Sahade was successful in defending the police charges laid against him for assault, and sued Mr Bischoff for damages for injuries he claimed he sustained as a result of a civil assault.  In defence to the assault claim, Mr Bischoff brought a counterclaim for trespass to his property. 

There were also claims made during the case by Mr Sahade that the Brischoffs had maintained false claims against him in relation to the police charges for assault, and their malicious prosecution of him had caused further damage to the Plaintiff.

Court of Appeal awards $500 for trespass claim

The case progressed all the way to the New South Wales Court of Appeal, with a decision handed down just before Christmas in 2015. The Court awarding compensation to Mr Brischoff in the sum of $500 for the trespass claimed to his property by Mr Sahade.

In handing down its findings, the Court considered that the evidence of both parties to the proceedings was unreliable, and a case for assault causing injury could not be made out on the evidence before it.  The Court also considered that it was the police who had pursued the claim against Mr Sahade for assault, not the Brischoffs, and therefore did not find that there was a case for malicious prosecution in relation to same.

This case goes to show that neighbourhood disputes are some of the most strenuously pursued litigation in the Courts today.

Injury compensation claims for assault 

If you are interested in learning more about what compensation is available to a person who has been the victim of an assault, go to our website at the following link: Injury and Accident Compensation Claims -Other Accidents.

If you are interested in reading the full version of the case, go to the following link: Sahade v Brischoff [2015] NSWCA 418. 

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