Return to Main Page 

Arthur -v- Layte PZ 200604

© JH Layte 2004-2009  ...  No part of this CD may be re-produced or transmitted by any means without prior permission in writing from JH Layte


November 2009


The numbers in brackets refer to the document (B nnn) in the Trial Bundle folders B1 and B2




The Layte - Arthur Partnership


August 2009


1976                          Laytes purchase derelict cottage and re-build using TLG Builders Merchants as a supplier of materials and tool hire. Mr and Mrs Arthur were the proprietors of TLG Builders Merchants at the time. Since 1976 J Layte has undertaken several small contracts for Mr & Mrs Arthur on a self employed basis - some joinery, some building work, and some to do with computers. K Layte has also undertaken some small projects on a self employed basis such as desk-top publishing and transcribing audio tapes.


1983                           Mr & Mrs Arthur purchase a single user “point of sale” stock control / invoicing / month end statements computer program from J Layte. The Arthur's program was specifically compiled to run on a 32k Commodore Pet computer using a 1mb twin 5 inch floppy drive for storage. All other versions sold were for IBM PC computers written in Basic and compiled with an IBM Basic compiler but Mr and Mrs Arthur were unwilling to pay the considerable extra cost of an IBM computer so a "Petspeed" compiler was purchased to compile the Basic code to run on a Commodore Pet. The program had been written to replace the invoicing and stock control modules of the Pegasus accounting suite (priced at £500 each). The invoicing module was intended to be easier to use and more versatile than the Pegasus version yet output an identical month end transaction file (and customer record) so that the Pegasus ledgers would then take over unaware that a third party program had intervened. £500 was the normal price but in the Arthur's case £750 was charged because a different compiler had to be purchased (£250) and since the Arthurs declined to purchase the  remaining Pegasus suite (about £2000) a basic month end "statement" program had to be written to print the statements and zero the transaction file ready for the next month. Mr Arthur's claim in (179) that this single user program was written for an hourly rate is untrue.0




April                            The Arthurs intend to open a larger (than TLG) builders merchants at a site they have purchased in Pool and employ a manager (Mr Dyer) to oversee the operation. Arthurs ask J Layte if he will update the single user “point of sale” program to multi-user using a newly developed four user 18mb hard disk that the Arthurs have identified. J Layte is reluctant to attempt this using an untried £8000 peripheral (manufactured in Germany by Adcomp) and warns the Arthurs that such an upgrade, even if it were possible, would most likely be expensive because to change a single user program to multi user is not a simple task. J Layte tells Arthurs that he will not quote a price but would only undertake the task on an hourly rate basis and entirely at the Arthurs risk. The Arthurs agree. Latterly it would appear the Arthurs consider this an unfair contract (179)


Apr-Jun                       J Layte writes the upgrade to multi-user. As anticipated the hardware bugs in the Adcomp hard disc slowed down the process (180+4). New main boards were fitted and the manufacturer even visited from Germany to assist (184). Despite the troubles by late June the program is functioning multi-user with two Commodore computers linked to the Adcomp hard disk.


Jun-Sep                     At Arthurs request J Layte adds discount and delivery routines to the system and delivers to Arthurs to test in about September. No faults or bugs were reported by Arthurs.


5 November               (185+1)  J Layte invoices Arthurs for multi-user upgrades and some single user additions


December                 The Arthurs change their minds about opening a builders merchants at Pool and instead propose to open an indoor market. The Arthurs dismiss Mr Dyer and refuse to pay J Layte the full invoice value suggesting instead he purchases the system and the hardware from the Arthurs (187). J Layte does not agree to this “deal”.


Subsequently (according to the Arthurs) they were successful in the litigation which followed Mr Dyer’s dismissal although the Laytes have no direct knowledge of this. In fact Mr Dyer was one of the first to be employed by the Arthurs and then dismissed. D Arthur seems to be proud of his skill at dismissing employees and tricking equal partners out of property they own (but are not aware they own thanks to D Arthur's dishonesty) as can be seen by later documents (188) and (193)


The Arthurs were less successful in avoiding payment of the computer system however. They eventually paid J Layte his full invoice value which allowed them to sell the system, following minor alterations,  to a (unknown) third party they had implied was interested in purchasing it. Whether the Arthurs sold the system and / or the hardware is unknown. The program was coded so as to allow one copy to be sold to a purchaser of the Arthurs choice.


It could be that the Arthurs later suggestion of forming a partnership and their bizarre behaviour following the partnership formation in 1988 (which seemed to suggest they wished the partnership (or half of it) to lose money rather than make it) is related to this "disagreement" over a computer system in 1984. The Arthurs failed attempt to try and sell our jointly owned shop for well under its market value in 2002 followed by their restarting the litigation once the property had been sold by "amending" their "Claim" with the added fabric rolling machine "theft" (advantaged by a PACE notice resulting from D Arthur's lies to the Police) would also seem to support this contention. If there is not such a term as a Vindictive Litigant perhaps Mr (and Mrs) Arthur are ideal first candidates?




April                          Arthurs suggest jointly purchasing with Laytes a property they have identified coming up for auction that lends itself for development (105 Kenwyn street Truro) ... The Laytes agree.


5 April                         (6)  Laytes arrange bank loan at own bank (Lloyds). Laytes home as security. valuation fee (7)


April                            Truro property sells beyond agreed £70k limit at auction (6). Not purchased but since the Laytes have agreed (in principle) a

          bank loan of up to about £60k to purchase property they look around to see if other properties are possible candidates.


April                            Laytes identify two properties in Redruth they consider good value  

1.         3 / 4 Station Hill. (£47.5K). An impressive granite building, probably early Victorian at the time used as offices (8) 

2.         52 Fore Street (£55K). A former off licence / Public house the impressive façade of which was probably re-built around 1920-1930. At the time a shop (9+1)  but would be ideal to convert to a wine bar and J Layte has experience of such conversions.


Laytes attempt to to find a working partner to join in with the purchases (their own "borrowings" will not allow purchase of both) but are unable to do so. Either the preferred intended partner is able to do any work required but is not willing to risk the outlay or, as in one case, has the money (and wants to join in) but not the skill (or inclination!) to undertake the physical work that inevitably may be required. 


In the absence of a "preferred" partner Laytes approach the Arthurs and suggest purchase both properties on a 50/50  basis because of :-

(a) The Arthurs claimed to have the physical skill and endurance (at the time they said they had built their first house themselves without help or even the use of a cement mixer!).

(b) The Arthurs have operated a builders merchant for some time and thus were assumed to have a knowledge of building materials and where to source them at an advantageous price.

(c) The Arthurs have the necessary collateral to raise the required amount.

(d) The Arthurs have a lorry and a (tracked) digger which could be useful.

The Arthurs agree. No development plans for either property were agreed before purchase other than possibility of wine bar at 52 Fore Street. The wine bar licence and initial operation to be the responsibility of K Layte (in the main) .(12) and latterly (11).  



19 April                     (12) Memorandum of first meeting between all partners. Arthurs suggest Laytes use Barclays as lender with one partnership account. Barclays rate is 1% lower than the Lloyds quote and the arrangement fee is also more favourable. The Laytes agree. (13). All partners agree to work together but no operation to place continuous pressure on any one party. K Layte agrees to run the proposed wine bar for a short period. No development plans drawn for either building by either party at this stage even in vague outline form however a contemporaneous document (1988/9), prepared by Mr Arthur, has only recently come to light (2008) that states that 3/4 Station Hill were purchased with a view to use them as a base for our respective businesses. This document contradicts the main pleading of both the Arthur's 2002 original Claim and their 2004 amended particulars of Claim.


21 June                      3 / 4  Station hill purchased for £47,500. Soon afterwards J Layte and D Arthur measure the property and D Arthur draws up

some outline plans (L 28 - L34) (D. Arthur now attributes these rather vague plans to A Arthur, certainly the pencil annotations are A Arthur's input but can only really be seen on the originals).


23 June                      (16) 3 / 4 Station Hill valued at £70 - 75K by J Large of Lodge & Thomas.


15 July                       52 Fore Street purchased £55,000. Mr Arthur does conveyancing on both properties (with Laytes agreement) whilst Laytes investigate starting a wine bar/alcohol licence with Arthurs agreement (4)  (12).


July & August            Laytes have been approached by a potential purchaser willing to pay £65k for 3 / 4 Station Hill but the Arthurs say this is too low because Lodge and Thomas have valued the property at about £70-75k (16) and apparently have had some interest at this level and the Arthurs want nearer £80K (16)! nevertheless the Arthurs insist the best way forward is to undertake their suggested development (15) and to enable this they are willing to lend the Laytes money (12). Laytes do not agree and will not entertain borrowing from the Arthurs.


                                   Arthurs want to develop 3 / 4 Station Hill as per (15) but Laytes reject Arthur's idea as ill-conceived and seriously under budgeted. Furthermore since Laytes believe the  market is at its zenith they are of the opinion that by the time their proposed development is completed in 18-24 months time property prices may well have fallen and little if any profit will have resulted from a considerable amount of effort and expense. Laytes want to sell “as is” and as quickly as possible because of the predicted fall in property prices. The Arthurs do not agree to sell "as is" and endeavour to persuade the Laytes to develop the property as per documents A459 to A468 but the Laytes are unimpressed with the Arthur's ideas nor, it has to be said, do they have any better ones of their own. The Layte's view, then as now, was that 3/4 Station Hill should preferably be sold "as is" or if that was not possible used (or rented) as offices as they had been before purchase and so remain today (citizens advice office).


Because Laytes are not willing to join in with Arthurs development "ideas" nor are willing to borrow money from the Arthurs the Laytes insist that either the Arthurs buy the Laytes half share for £35k (half Arthur's and Lodge and Thomas's minimum valuation) and undertake their development at their own risk or, because of the suspected crash, and the known (Layte) potential purchaser at £65k coupled with the “alleged” (Arthur) potential purchasers at £70-75k (16) the property should be auctioned as soon as possible with a reserve of £70k in the hope that all potential purchasers (at least) will attend and bid at the auction. Arthurs do not agree to purchase Laytes half but do agree to sell 3 / 4 at Auction with a reserve of £70k.


It should be noted in paragraph 9 of Mr Arthur's amended particulars of claim that he blames the Laytes for delaying the sale of 3/4 Station Hill and causing a £6k loss whereas there was no loss and little delay before agreeing to sell the property as is evident from the last paragraph of Mr Arthur's 10 July 1988 letter to Barclays Bank. The 17 day delay since purchasing the property and agreeing to sell it the Laytes spent trying to persuade the Arthurs to sell it "as is" (or buy out the Laytes for £35k if they wanted to undertake their development plans on their own). The Laytes were of the opinion that the development plans put forward by the Arthurs had no chance of being a financial success and the Arthurs were unable to persuade the Laytes otherwise as is evident from page five of Mr Arthurs 31 May 2002  letter (in which he blames the Laytes for a 2 month delay in agreeing to sell) and also in paragraph 14 of his 30 May 2002 witness statement (in which he blames the Laytes for a delay of "several weeks" in agreeing to sell) and in his 16 January 1990 letter (in which he blames the Laytes for a delay of "seven weeks" in agreeing to sell). The implication in all the letters is that the Arthurs were the ones who wanted to sell but as all the evidence proves it was the Laytes that wanted to sell and the delay was caused by the Arthur's failed attempts to persuade the Laytes to become involved in their development plans.


8 August                   (11) Arthur note .... agreement  to “clean up” the façade of 52 and put  52  on the market for sale AND for rent (probably with agent WS&P (Walker Son & Packman)). However as can be seen in the last paragraph of this note it was agreed that J Large of Lodge and Thomas would be consulted by Annette Arthur (regarding instructions to auction 3 / 4 Station Hill) and also a solicitor is required for the sale. (this note contradicts paragraph 19 of the Claimants amended Particulars of Claim)


19 August                  (16) Letter Lodge & Thomas regarding their instruction to auction 3 / 4 Station Hill


12 September           At auction the Layte's potential £65k purchaser did not bid beyond this figure (if at all) and the Arthur's / Lodge and Thomas “interested parties” also did not bid and the property failed to reach it’s reserve of £70k.


13 September          3 / 4 Station hill sells (1 day post auction) for £75k to a purchaser who was not the Layte's £65k potential purchaser nor, it is believed, one of the two £70-75k Arthur / Lodge and Thomas “interested parties”.  Mrs Arthur agrees a delayed completion date with the purchaser (178) without consulting the Laytes. Also see 17 September 1988 D Arthur letter in which he also agrees a delayed completion (Contradicting paragraph 9 of the Claimants amended Particular of Claim which blames the Laytes for this delay)


The failed £65k potential purchaser of 3 / 4 indicates to the Laytes that he may now be interested in purchasing the shop for the same figure but Mrs Arthur says they have had the shop valued at £70k so will not accept £65k and since the wine bar idea that the Laytes are investigating is by now beginning to look like a non starter the Arthurs suggest development (14) instead. The Laytes think Arthur budgets are far too low and anticipated rents far too high (18+2) nor agree that 4 one bed room flats would fit and reject Arthur development idea as untenable. Once again Laytes offer to sell their 50% interest to the Arthurs for £35k (half of the value advised by Mrs Arthur) should the Arthurs want to carry out their development on their own. Once again The Arthurs decline to purchase the Layte's 50% share.


The Laytes continue to canvas three publicans / wine bar proprietors (that J Layte has worked for converting existing licensed premises to “wine bar type décor”) in an attempt to muster interest in a joint wine bar venture … result .. not much interest and a certain amount of liver damage. Wine bar idea put on back burner in April 1989. (Revived 1998 (about) and 2000 with Mark Pascoe (Penventon Hotel) but again it did not get off the ground)




Summer                     Laytes run the shop for a couple of weeks to sell off stock left over from previous tenants closing down sale and final auction … Since this was mainly clothes that had failed to sell at the closing down sale and auction there was little of value and was hardly worth the effort financially but it did clear about half. The Arthurs disposed of the other half.


September                Following a gale which damaged the façade guttering the Arthurs and Laytes agree to re-decorate and repair 52 and agree to employ a labourer to help them both to achieve these works. However once the works commence  D Arthur claims he is too busy with Pool Market to assist (as agreed in original memorandum (12) so OK).. J Layte and the labourer (A Husband) work on without D Arthurs promised help. (176)


26 October                (197) Letter Arthurs claiming to have discharged their 50% share of the Barclays bank loan account on 26 June 1989. Amongst the documents supplied by the Arthurs in July 2002 is a Bank statement that shows a figure of £4930.77 transferred from the Arthur / Layte partnership loan account to the Arthurs own account (170+3) Although the Laytes have asked the Arthurs to account for this in more detail they refuse to do so (174+1) . Despite volunteering to either account for this (or re-pay it plus interest) at the Trial of the Claim in November 2005 Mr Arthur has not done so to-date (August 2009). This letter also requests that security for the Arthur's Raschel site (Pool Market) is withdrawn.


31 October                (A 408) Barclays reply to Arthur letter of 26 October. Raschel (Pool Market) is not being held as security for the Arthur - Layte partnership (Arthurs always said told the Laytes it was). On the point of what security the bank held against the Arthur / Layte partnership a note of a phone conversation on 26 October 1988 between D Arthur and Barclays reveals that Kennall Vale (the Arthur's home) was also not connected with security. This means that the Arthurs were providing TLG (their old builders merchants) and the Laytes were providing GHE (their un-mortgaged home) as security for the loan and since it would be very difficult to argue that TLG was worth as much as GHE the many claims the Arthurs have made that they were supplying the bulk of the security are untrue (paragraph 5 of Mr Arthur's 18 November 2005 witness statement is one example paragraph 2 of his 26 July 2002 affirmation is another. There are others) In the Arthur's letter of 14 June 1993 the Arthurs state "The Bank must at some stage demand a reduction in the borrowings" ..... "The only charged assets guaranteed to sell are your (Laytes) unit .... and your (Laytes) abode (GHE)"  ....... "in the event of foreclosure or other dispute there will be no alternative but to produce to the Bank a copy of this letter"  (NB For the record no bank has ever requested, or has held,  a charge over the unit for any loan at any time as was mentioned in the third paragraph page 2 of the Layte's 18 June 2003 reply to the Arthur's 14 June letter)


16 November            D Arthur note of conversation with N Seaton Burridge (Miller Commercial) regarding value and policy re 52. Seaton Burridge is of the view that it would be better not to sell and to attempt to find tenant at about £8500 (177). This view matches the Laytes opinion but the Arthurs disagree and wish only to sell. 


December                 J Layte persuades D Arthur to employ a second labourer (D Lanyon) to take D Arthur's place (at the Arthurs own expense) for the last two to 3 weeks of the 3 to 4 month project as J Layte is also too busy with another project to build four industrial units on United Downs (see L434 - L436) . D Lanyon is one of the two other partners in this project hence agreeing to be labourer to speed up the start of the building phase.




January                       The Arthurs allow traders from their Pool Market business to set up stalls for a couple of weeks (Xmas 1989-Jan 1990)… not a success .. traders say shop wrong position .. too far up main street. D Arthur did say it was a bad time to test as trading between Xmas and first week in January is not the best. (he used the term "kipper" which according to D Arthur is a market trader term for a bad time to trade)


16 January                 (21+4)     Letter Arthur to Barclays concerning the Arthurs discharge of 50% of the loan and notifying Barclays of the £6k alleged loss (see paragraph 9 Arthur amended POC) in the sale of Station Hill (note they say the loss was in 1989 when in fact Station Hill was sold for about £27K profit in 1988). Also suggests that they are looking for a separate broker to sell their 50% share. It also states that J Layte values at £110k and will not sell and only wants to rent the property long term. (In fact J Layte values at about £85-90K and agrees with N Seaton Burridge (177) of Miller Commercial who thinks it better to rent at about £8.5k rather than sell at this time) This (Barclays) letter was not copied to the Laytes at the time and they only became aware of it because of its inclusion in the documents revealed in this litigation in 2002 by the Arthurs. The letter is regarded as an attempt, by the Arthurs, to get the bank to foreclose on the borrowings which are now the Layte's responsibility since the Arthurs have allegedly paid of their half. (see Barclays correspondence for copies of all known correspondence and Arthur disclosed list  for a list of Barclays documents revealed by the Arthurs in this litigation and either lost by the Laytes (unlikely!) or not supplied to the Laytes by the Arthurs at the time (likely)


14? March                 (26+1)  Arthurs appoint Lodge & Thomas to sell  52 Fore Street at £95k. Laytes think this figure is too high and it would be prudent to also attempt to let in addition to selling but Arthurs do not agree. Laytes and Arthurs agree to wait three months to see if shop sells with Lodge & Thomas before Laytes appoint another agent to sell or rent. (see (177) and (30))


19 March                   (28) Letter from Barclays Bank wanting written confirmation from Lodge and Thomas that £95k forms a reasonable basis for negotiation. (JL contacted Lodge and Thomas and asked them to confirm, see D Arthur annotation (28) )


6 April                        (29)  Letter from Lodge and Thomas to Barclays. We recommended £95k as the asking price but the market is depressed and has deteriorated since we recommended this figure three weeks ago.


17 July                       (30+1) Having waited the agreed 3 months (see 14? March above) and as shop does not sell and there seems little interest so Laytes appoint BLS Estates Ltd to let  at £8,500 per annum in accordance with N Seaton Burridge recommendation  (177).


25 July                       (32) Having waited the agreed 3 months (see 14? March above) the Laytes appoint BLS Estates Ltd to sell (in addition to let)  52 Fore Street at £95,000. . BLS advise that they think this is too high a price but as Lodge and Thomas are at the time instructed by Arthurs at this figure (and they won’t drop) then there is no alternative.


22 October               (33)  Lodge & Thomas write to the Arthurs advising a buyer had agreed to purchase the property at £90k. The Arthurs did not copy this letter to the Laytes but D Arthur did inform J Layte that there was interest and asked as to what figure below the £95k asking price the Laytes would accept.  J Layte agrees Arthurs may negotiate down to £85k (34)


December                  Arthur (in a phone call) offers to buy Laytes share for the £35k Laytes have in 1988 offered to sell for.  Laytes refuse as £35k is not half of the £90k that they are aware Arthurs are in the process of selling for! see (49) page three top para and not denied in the Arthur's answer letter (50)


1990                           Most probably  February/March (but not certain about this ... however see (27) which suggests about this time) the Council replace our, and our neighbours at 51,  back Station Road boundary wall and in the process destroy evidence that there had been a former entrance. J Layte informs D Arthur who thinks this an improvement rather than a problem. Nothing is done. (NB at this time the Arthurs are very busy with Pool Market and the Laytes are equally busy with the United Downs development)


1990                           Most probably late 1990 (but not certain about this) Laytes notice neighbour has placed a chalet on our land at back blocking our access to Station road. Laytes suggest to D Arthur that we ask them to move it off our land.  D Arthur says it would be un-neighbourly and Laytes agree so nothing is done by either Arthurs or Laytes. 2002 Photo (note Arthur position re Stat Decs etc (199)) (Again ... at this time the Arthurs are very busy with Pool Market and the Laytes are equally busy with the United Downs development)



3 January                   (35)  Lodge & Thomas write to the Arthurs advising another buyer had agreed to purchase the property at £90,000. Again the Arthurs did not copy this letter to the Laytes.           


8 January                   (36) Barclays Bank to Laytes (Arthur supplied Document .. the Laytes have found no copy). Mrs Arthur tells them sale agreed for £90,000 (no name so Laytes still don’t know who is buying) Mrs Arthur apparently doing the conveyancing. Please sign enclosed form so that the bank can release the deeds to Mrs Arthur.


6 February                 (37)  Letter buyers solicitor to D Arthur. Their clients do not wish to proceed. Arthurs did not copy this letter to the Laytes but did inform them “the buyer” had dropped out with no reason given. Laytes find out later that buyer was Regan and much later (2002) the reason he gives for dropping out was he was unhappy about the flaw in title regarding the land that the chalet has been placed on by the neighbour.



1 April                        (38)   Property let to Kavanagh  for £7992 PA (£666 per month !) by Arthurs who draw up lease with them only as landlord. Bank disagree with lease wording and Laytes disagree only Arthurs as landlord. Lease changed to Arthurs and Laytes as landlords. (39)  It is not known how the Kavanaghs knew that the shop could be rented but BLS estates were the only agent offering a lease.


1 August                    (42) Arthur note re neighbours (with chalet on our land) have dumped rubble against our back workshop which has caused the wall to rot through. J Layte suggest to D Arthur that this is not very neighbourly and suggest we take some action. D Arthur refuses to be involved and nothing is done again.





May                            Kavanaghs vacate


14 June                     (43)  Letter: The Business Centre to Mrs Arthur valuing the shop at £55,000


14 June                     (44+1)  Letter: Arthurs to Laytes suggesting not prepared to sell as property now worth only £55,000 due to fall in property prices and proposing new development scheme for 52 and offering to lend Laytes money again.  The Arthurs proposed that we convert the ground floor to two shops and the first floor to two flats with access from Station road. This access is however blocked by the chalet the neighbours have placed on our land that leads to Station road.


17 June                      (46) Letter: Millers to D Arthur stating they think rental value of the shop to be £6,000 per annum maximum.


18 June                     (47+3) Letter (Computer back-up copy) Laytes reply to Arthur's 14 June letter stating do not agree with Arthur scheme….. financial disaster….. Want no part of it (and also  not willing to borrow money from Arthurs as it happens!) Laytes suggest alternative more flexible and much quicker / cheaper proposal to attract tenant(s) to rent 52 (whilst property prices recover) however if Arthurs want to undertake their scheme alone then Laytes will sell their 50% share of the shop for £34,000 and JL will work on Arthurs suggested scheme for free for 6 months. (In effect value property at about £56,000)


24 June                     (50) Letter D Arthur to Laytes confirming receipt of our 18 Jun letter but not agreeing or disagreeing with any of its content other than we should discuss the future. This we did….Once again the Arthurs declined Laytes offer to sell to them and work for free but agree Laytes proposal for a cheap refurbishment rather than their proposal as outlined in their letter of 14 June 1993 (44+1).


13 July                        (51) D Arthur Note of a meeting at the shop. D & A Arthur and J.Layte present. Who and how Laytes suggested scheme should be implemented. J Layte prepares Shop for sale or rent ads and places them in the shop window.


July/August                 J. Layte and D Arthur work on Laytes suggested scheme with the help of one labourer (Zola, on a cash basis paid by Laytes). First job is to remove rubble that neighbours have dumped against our wall near the chalet they have placed on our land. J Layte suggests to D Arthur that we should  both visit the neighbour and demand that the chalet be moved and it is all very well D Arthur saying that would be un-neighbourly but it is J Layte's view that it is more un-neighbourly for the neighbours to dump rubble against our wall causing it to rot and us work and expense to remove about a ton of rubble and repair our wall. D Arthur refuses to visit the neighbour so J Layte visits alone. Mrs Berryman (the neighbour) tells J Layte that the previous owner of the shop had said they could use the land and that she didn’t think we had any use for it as it was on a level with their land and difficult to access from ours. J Layte replies that may be true but the previous owner had sold us the shop and this piece of land was shown on our deeds and was important for access should we convert the first floor of the shop to living accommodation. JL  pointed out that we had applied for planning permission for such a development and although we had decided not to go ahead with this she must understand that the chalet is on our land and we may well require it moved in the future. She told me the chalet was new and since we had no current use for the land perhaps it would be alright to leave it there for the time being? I said I would have to check with D Arthur (who was next door) before agreeing she could keep the chalet on our land. Opinions differ as to what followed.


6 August                     (52) D Arthur note: Predicted rentals of the refurbished shop varying between £8060 PA and £9100PA excluding rates.


? August                    Before completing the refurbishment Mr Potts responds to the shop window advert (placed by J Layte) and agrees to rent.


21 August                 (53)  Letter Mrs A Arthur to Mr Potts rental will be £850 pcm including rates from (approx £8000 PA excluding rates) 1 September to 31 December on a trial basis.

It should be noted the Arthurs have always told the Laytes the shop was rented to Mr Potts for £7,800 PA excluding rates  from this date but have never provided a copy of the Lease (if one existed) to prove this.




July                             (54)  Arthurs inform Laytes that 46 Fore Street not sold at auction with a reserve of £28,000. (Laytes get the impression that Arthurs are trying to suggest that our jointly owned shop is also of little value. Laytes not convinced)




August                        Potts lease expires but (according to Potts in a fax 12.6.2003 (55+2)) Potts continues occupying as licensee at an increased rent of £8,400 per annum until the Summer of 1999 when he “sold” his operation at the shop to a Mr Farr and a Mr Amor.


19 October               (58) Arthurs inform Laytes that 45 Fore Street sold for £20,000. (Laytes again get the impression that Arthurs are trying to suggest that our jointly owned shop is also of little value. Laytes still not convinced)





28 October                (59) Arthurs inform Laytes that our shop has been valued at £55,000 by Nick Seaton Burridge (Laytes convinced that true value is higher)



Summer                     (55) Mr Potts ceases to trade from the shop and a Mr Farr and a Mr Amor take over the operation. We believe they were formerly managers of some other shops that Mr Potts operated. They are unwilling to sign a lease or pay quarterly in advance as Mr Potts had been doing since 1993 somewhat unreliably of late however!  Mr Arthur arranges that they pay weekly and a stall operator from Pool market will collect this rent. Mr Arthur turns down K Layte’s suggestion that she collect the rent as she works locally. Very little (if any) rent was ever collected or distributed  however.




June                           (60+3) “Evidence” in the form of an unsigned draft Witness Statement  purporting to be prepared by a Mr Everard was sent to the Laytes by Mr Arthur on 8 Feb 2004 This document states that on Murdoch day in June 2000 Mrs Arthur discussed with Mr Everard (an antique dealer who operates a small shop on the opposite side off the street from our shop) the possibility of his purchasing our shop (which is considerably bigger than his) The document states that Mr Everard had had our shop valued at £60,000 by a Mr Badda of Miller Commercial who had suggested an upper limit of £70,000 “if he really wanted it”


Mr Arthur has named Mr Everard as a witness in the coming trial. Being uncertain as to whether this document was genuinely prepared by Mr Everard or actually prepared by  Mr Arthur we twice sent a copy to Mr Everard for his comments. To date (August 2009) no reply has been received.


If Mrs Arthur had this conversation with Mr Everard and if she agreed his £60-70,000 valuation we do not know but certainly she did not inform us that Mr Everard may be interested in purchasing nor did Mr Everard despite having known for a long time we jointly owned the shop with Mr and Mrs Arthur. The Laytes have prepared a document in answer to the points raised in this “evidence” (64+2)


Jun (about)                The Arthurs cease to collect the rent from Farr and Amor and tell the Laytes that Mr Potts is still the tenant and owes the rent but has apparently moved from his Woodley (Berkshire) address and cannot be traced. J and K Layte offer to help trace him since he may still be at Woodley and this is near where K Laytes family live. Arthurs decline Laytes offer to help trace Potts stating “The situation is under control and any interference by the Laytes would be a hindrance rather than a help”.


Oct 2000-Feb 2001        It should be noted that throughout this 17 month period J Layte and K Layte were only in the UK together for about 5 months and only about half this at the same address in the UK (see  and ) . Also between about February 2001 and November 2001 (when the tenant's property at the shop was held in lieu of unpaid rent) J and K Layte were in the UK but at separate addresses with little contact. Approaches to the Arthurs concerning the outstanding rent (and the allegedly untraceable tenant Mr Potts) were made by both J and K Layte during this period (separately) on several occasions without the truth being revealed. The truth being that Mr and Mrs Arthur were aware of Mr Pott's new address (see the address on the invoice dated one day before confiscating the tenant's property at the shop) and despite Mr Arthur's evidence supplied in the Claim against Potts that he had posted invoices to Mr Potts at his old address (such as (A 065 to A 096) )  it is very doubtful that he did since if he had Mr Potts's son (who occupied the old address) would probably have forwarded them to Mr Potts (Mr Potts confirms that his son forwards mail as Mr Arthur notes in his note of a phone conversation 20 November 2000). Mr Potts's claim that he had not heard from Mr Arthur for 2.5 years prior to November 2001 (ie mid 1999) in his phone call of 19 July 2002 to J Layte (and later confirmed as 2.5 years in his letter of 11 June 2003)  and also in Mr Arthur's note of a phone call (to Mr Potts) dated November 2001 ) is almost certainly not true either because of 20 November 2000 phone call below :-


20 November           Mr Arthur's note of a phone call to Mr Potts at his new address dated 20 November 2000 The fact that Mr Arthur knew how to contact Mr Potts in November 2000 yet continued to tell the Laytes he could not trace him for another 20 months is rather odd. Perhaps Mr Arthur was happy to allow Farr and Amor to operate from the shop for free just so the Laytes would not receive their half of the rent and if they eventually attempted a moonlight flit (as they would almost certainly do - and did attempt one year later) that would mean the shop could be sold (to Mr Everard?) at a low price (if the Arthurs were able to convince the Laytes of this low price) and the Laytes would not benefit from the sale by as much as they should have done. If this was the Arthur's cunning plan then it did not work because J Layte noticed the postcard in the shop window just prior to the moonlight flit and the Arthurs were unable to convince the Laytes that the shop was only worth the £60K-£70K valuation that Mr Everard had allegedly obtained from Miller Commercial (Paragraph 3 of "his" (alleged!) draft witness statement and Mr Arthur's later revelation that Amanda Champion's valuer had valued at £65k.




Jan – Nov 2               No rent is paid. The Arthurs continue to assure the Laytes that they are doing their best to try and trace Mr Potts whom they say is tenant whilst Farr and Amor continue operating the shop for free. Amongst Mr Arthur’s evidence are invoices addressed to Mr Potts at his Woodley address for the period May 1999 to August 2001 (A 065 to A 097) and (D 06 to D 029)  Mr Potts later told J Layte in a phone call (19/7/2002) that he had not received any of these invoices (or any other correspondence) since he had not heard from from Mr Arthur for 2.5 years prior to learning (from Mr Arthur) in about November 2001 that Farr and Amor had not paid any rent for about 18 months. This is supported in the written Arthur evidence (68+2). and Potts (55+2) but contradicted in the note of a 20 November 2000 Phone call between D Arthur and Potts


October                      J Layte notices a small card in the shop window stating the shop will close on 2 November 2001. J Layte suggests to D Arthur that we should confiscate the tenants stock in lieu of the rent owed. D Arthur agrees.


2 November              J Layte and D Arthur together with an independent witness (D Lanyon) attend the shop. J Layte photographs the stock and fittings (1+2) and changes the locks. D Arthur counts the till money and (with J Layte's agreement) pays the shop assistant her wages (£76) from the till cash. D Arthur suggests J Layte take the till (and its remaining contents) together with some other higher value items home for safe keeping. D Lanyon witnesses these events and provides a van to take the items back to J Layte's home. J Layte suggests that D Lanyon should also be paid for his help but D Arthur is unwilling to take any cash from the till to do this and instead “pays” D Lanyon for his services with a fire extinguisher and a ladder but tells him he may have to return these items if the tenant settles the outstanding rent.


3 November              D Arthur and J Layte discuss what best to do with the shop. It was agreed that the façade needed decorating and minor repairs before placing the property on the market. It was agreed  J Layte  would undertake the façade works whilst  Mr Arthur attempted to trace Mr Potts and recover the outstanding rent (about £16,000 at the time).


December                 J Layte obtains a verbal estimate of £290+pavement licence from Early Rise Scaffolding to undertake the façade works and tells D Arthur that in order to complete the works within the one month hire period it would be better to employ another person (or D Arthur himself to avoid this cost) because at this time of year the weather may slow progress. J Layte tells D Arthur he estimates the cost of the scaffolding+helper+materials to be about £1000. D Arthur does not agree and refuses to pay his half of this cost. D Arthur claims J Layte is exaggerating the task of repairing the façade and volunteers to undertake the “out of reach part” with his cherry picker (an access platform attached to a large van) over a “couple of Sundays” (the only day of the week his cherry picker can be used in the normally busy Redruth main street). J Layte does not agree but says "OK you prove it then".


                                   Over a six month period D Arthur attends with his cherry picker on about 15 Sundays (when suitable weather). J Layte also attends on the same Sundays and undertakes the repair to the street level and centre sections (with his scaffold tower). Comments from J Layte to D Arthur such as "this is going to take a month of Sundays with your cherry picker" fall on stony ground.


                                    It should be noted that D Arthur is claiming £6332 in his amended POC (paragraph 15 and summary) for his enforced "help" in the facade works as opposed to the £500 it would have cost without such "help"


                                    During these works Mr Arthur announces he has had the shop valued by a Mr Sly of Charterwoods at about £75K (or less to a developer). At one meeting (January 2002 between D Arthur and J & K Layte) K Layte suggests that we should deal with the chalet problem and volunteers to undertake this herself (71) but D Arthur says it is not a problem and if anything needs doing then he will do it. (73)




April                            As the façade works are nearing completion J Layte suggest to D Arthur that it would be prudent to obtain a second valuation before placing the property on the market. D Arthur does not object and suggests Goldring Yates.


                                    J Layte approaches Goldring Yates but after they break an appointment to view and do not return several phone calls J Layte approaches  Pound & Co instead. (it is probable they knew the property was already being advertised by Charterwoods of course)


30 April                       JL shows Fiona Pound around shop and she values at £120k to £130k and maybe more to a developer but the chalet should be moved first. J Layte tells D Arthur of the  £120k to £130K valuation and potential chalet problem.


1 May                          (74)  Letter Pound suggesting sell shop “offers in excess of £100k”  but she

does not confirm her (verbal) valuation of £120k - £130k. About this time Fiona Pound also points out that a Charterwood advert to sell the shop at £90k (or offer) is currently in the West Briton. Arthurs say they have not instructed Charterwoods to do this and it is all a “mistake” (75+1). J Layte instructs Charterwoods to withdraw the advert because the Laytes do not agree with the Arthurs that £90k or offers is high enough.


4 May                        Laytes not happy with Arthurs agent valuation and Arthurs not happy with Laytes agent valuation so Laytes  purchases the name  and set up a web site (77) to market the shop at "offers in excess of £110k " (mid point between the agents valuations)


17 May                       D Arthur visits J Layte at his home, claims shop worthless ..£65k at most and accuses J Layte of lying regarding Pound £120-130k valuation (200) and see later (78). D Arthur leaves in a huff. Annette Arthur then arrives, threatens to sell shop at auction with no reserve unless J Layte accepts the Charterwood £75k valuation and appoint Charterwoods to market the shop. J Layte refuses. Mrs Arthur claims shop is actually worth no more than £60k. J Layte offers to buy out Arthurs half share for £30k and mentions the time in 1990 /91 when D Arthur offered to buy out the Laytes half share for £35K whilst at the time negotiating to sell at £90K (also see (49) letter that mentions this attempt to defraud) . Mrs Arthur refuses to sell at £30k, denies the £35k for Laytes half share allegation and storms out threatening  "We will sell the shop at auction with no reserve and there is nothing you can do to stop us because we will apply to the Court to prevent you interfering"


19 May                      (201)  Fax Mrs Arthur demanding to see the £35k for your half letter and claiming the Arthurs have destroyed their hard copy. (difficult as there never was a hard copy of a phone call)


31 May                      (207) Letter from D Arthur setting out how they view the partnership and how Laytes have overvalued the shop in the past, refused to sell, etc etc etc......finally threatening to apply to the Court. The Laytes have a very different view of course!


2  >12 June                (78+11) (203+3) Letters from Arthurs. Fiona Pound does not confirm that she valued at £120-130k. Her view is similar to S Sly (of Charterwoods).


 9 June                       (92) Arthur fax offering to sell their half share interest in 52 Fore Street for £42K. Arthur wrongly assumes that J.Layte is making the offer to buy their 50% on behalf of the Laytes.


10 June                      (93)  Arthur note of phone call confirming D Lanyon (not Laytes) prospective purchaser D Lanyon wants shop cleared of Potts stock (obviously). BUT as we can not clear (belongs to Potts) Arthur offers to transfer Potts stock to his house and pay Laytes half Potts  offered amount of outstanding £13,000 rent (£10,000 or £11,000 according to Arthur) (94+1)


10.June                      (97)  Arthur (claimed) fax stating intention to transfer their interests to Mr. Lanyon (not Laytes) for £42k. The truth is the Arthurs did not send this fax… they just included it in their “Documents”. If they had sent it then Mr Lanyon would not have spent 10 days arranging loans / visiting planning / etc  since it only allows 24 hours to do this. The Arthurs cancelled their offer to sell to Mr Lanyon on 20.June (107) and then threatened litigation (108+2) unless Laytes appointed estate agents to sell to somebody other than D Lanyon.


12 June                      (203+3) (78+11) Fiona Pound (Pound & Co) confirms £120K valuation in writing. S Sly (Charterwoods) and Arthurs disagree.


14 June (day)            (98)  Fax Symes Robinson (Solicitors on behalf of Farr and Amor) to Arthur proposing settlement of claim £10k + all stock and contents. Arthur (deliberately?) concealed this settlement and later that evening asked the Laytes to write (95) Then on 16 June sending (85) to gloat about how clever he has been in tricking the Laytes out of about  £10k worth of stock.


14 June (8 pm)          (100+3)  Arthur note of phone call (D Arthur – J Layte)  .. There is no mention of earlier that day settlement proposal with tenants nor that he asked  (in this phone call) for Laytes to send fax (95) below confirming Arthurs offer to TRANSFER tenants stock to Arthur house. In fact the phone call was mainly about a draft Stat Dec that D Arthur had sent (fax) and wanted J Layte to approve / modify. See fax header (94)


14 June (9 pm)        (95) Unaware of the settlement and they own half of the shop contents (and £5000) the Laytes compose letter as requested by D Arthur and fax it immediately …CONTRACT TO CLEAR SHOP ACCORDING TO 17 JUNE 2003 JUDGEMENT (104+2) The Laytes do not agree that a letter obtained by deceit (after the settlement with the tenants) can possibly be considered a valid contract. Nor do they agree that Arthur “did obtain further rent monies” (as mentioned in the Judgement (105)). He did not obtain anything further to our letter because our letter was not written until after the agreement and in any case if it is a valid contract to clear the property (as Recorder Parish seems to think) then it is a contract to clear the shop "of all material, etc. belonging to Potts". At the time of writing the letter the Laytes were not aware the entire contents of the shop was 50% theirs (it would be another 5 weeks before they found out). Because nothing at the shop "belonged to Potts" at the time we wrote the letter it would be impossible for Mr Arthur to fulfil a contract to clear the shop "material, etc belonging to Potts"


16 June                      (193) Arthur letter. D Arthur is very clever and K Layte is not              


19 June                      (194+1) Arthur letters setting out “unusual” terms regarding the Laytes appointing Pound & Co or Charterwoods as agents. The last paragraph of the second page is (probably) D Arthur's attempt to avoid the Arthurs being involved in the "chalet" problem which the Arthurs have always told the Laytes was not a problem and this J Layte has relayed to Pound & Co who have provided  their sales particulars which include the land it is on and amended their  contract to include a property misrepresentation clause. whereas the original did not have such a clause


20 June                      (107)  Arthur  letter to Mr Lanyon, attempting to do a back-to-back sale and to cheat Arthurs out of £9.6k


20 June                      (108+2)  Arthurs issue a notice for Action regarding the back-to-back sale. Unless Laytes appoint an agent by close of business on 24 June Arthurs will apply for an injunction to prevent them interfering in the sale by auction at no reserve with Charterwoods. (the agents had to be appointed under Arthurs terms (194+1) however)


21 June                      (112)  Letter from Layte to Arthur confirming they had instructed two Agents to sell the property.


21 June                      (115) Arthur fax (page 6) containing last page of a Jan1991 contract that is annotated with wording that could be construed as the Laytes agreeing that Arthur had the Laytes permission to sign contracts on the Laytes behalf. This contradicts with the same last page of the same contract included in Arthurs own Documents (A 22.3)  which does not have the annotation.


24 June                      (117)  Arthur complains about two Agents being instructed, saying the rate is too high. Not what Arthur ordered Laytes to do


27 June                     (118)  Arthur writes to Agents Richards, Sons & Murdoch, cancelling the instructions. But agreeing a sole agency with restrictive conditions regarding Laytes involvement in the sale


27 June                     (119)  Arthur writes to Agents Pound & Co, cancelling the instructions. But agreeing a sole agency with different restrictive conditions regarding Laytes involvement in the sale


27 June                     (122+12)  Eight further 27 June Letters from Arthur (amongst other things) accusing J Layte and Mr Lanyon of theft  of the ladder and fire extinguisher (126) (see 2 November 2001 above) and Arthur agreed that Arthur had decided ten years ago to put more than 50% of effort and expenditure into the partnership. (whether the effort was useful or not to the partnership is open to conjecture as is the fact that it is true or not!! JL)


27 June                     (L250) D Arthur to Laytes .. Laytes have got it all wrong regarding appointing estate agents and "(Laytes) combined business acumen equates to that of a goldfish".... maybe .... however it is obvious even goldfish are  better at property valuation than either the Arthurs or their agent S Sly (of Charterwoods) in respect of 52 Fore Street Redruth which was eventually sold at about double the Arthur's (and their agent's) valuation and only slightly more (£2.5K) than the Layte's (and their agent's) valuation thus vindicating the Layte's refusal to sell at the Arthur's valuation.


                                   D Arthur had been claiming (verbally) that he thought Potts was about to settle for the full outstanding rent and that all the items we removed from the shop on 2 November (including the ladder and fire extinguisher with Mr lanyon) must be returned so as not to jeopardize this settlement.


1 July                         (135+2) Layte and Lanyon return all items removed on 2 November 2001 to the shop with the exception of the  £168 till cash (196). Reasoning that this will be accounted for in the settlement which D.Arthur has been “claiming” is imminent.


1 July                         (138) Arthur letter. He had not honoured the “contract” (95) to transfer the shop contents but nevertheless on the basis of the “contract” (95) he will “clear” the shop instead.


8 July                          (90+1)  Letter from Nalders (on behalf of the Laytes) to the Arthurs suggesting it would be better to sell when chalet removed rather than try and sell with it there.


10 July                        D Arthur (and another unknown person) are witnessed (by D Lanyon) removing the stock from the shop and D Lanyon phones J Layte to ask if this is OK. J Layte (unaware there has been a settlement and the Laytes actually own half the stock) thinks this is OK and assumes the other person helping D Arthur may be Potts or D Arthur plus a helper are transferring Potts's stock to D Arthur's abode.


15 July                        (143)  letter from Layte to Arthur Laytes do not trust D Arthur anymore etc etc will have to get in touch with Potts

This is one page of the Wheal Diffa letter (140+4) actually faxed before D Arthur  issued the claim.


15 July                        (151+4)  Claim issued by Arthur


17 July                        (5) J Layte encounters D Arthur at the shop and enquires as to what progress (if any) is being made regarding the outstanding rent.? D Arthur refuses to answer. J Layte states he will have to contact Potts himself and asks if D Arthur has managed to find out Pott’s new address or telephone number yet? D Arthur refuses to answer. Despite his denials over the last couple of years that he had not managed to trace Mr Potts the truth is Mr Arthur had been aware of Mr Potts's mobile and home telephone numbers for at least 20 months since his phone call of 20 November 2000 and his new address for at least 9 months because it is the address his 1 November 2001 invoice was (allegedly) posted to


18 July                        (157)  Letter Laytes to Potts (to his old address) requesting information regarding the rent settlement. In addition the Laytes tried to trace Mr Potts and Farr and Amor over the internet and were able to trace a shop operated by Mr Potts and leave a message for Mr Potts to contact the Laytes.


19 July                       Telephone call from Potts. Rent settlement about six weeks ago. He understood “a sum of money” had been paid by Farr and Amor (about £10k he thought). Arthur had told him that the Arthurs owned 100% of the shop, he was not aware we existed (since 1993!) D Arthur (as the freeholder!) had instigated litigation against him in May claiming he was still the tenant and the stock belonged to him. (Arthur had indeed instigated litigation against Mr Potts in May but he had not informed the Laytes of this and it was not to be until Arthur delivered his evidence on 29 July 2002 that the Laytes became aware of this Claim). He did not agree with D Arthur about this. His view was that he had sold the business to Farr and Amor in mid 1999 and he had not heard from D  Arthur since that time. The first he was aware that Farr and Amor owed a large amount of rent was when Arthur contacted him in November 2001. Mr Potts later wrote confirming much of this phone call (55+2). The Laytes were not able to confirm the £10K  until D Arthur's 21 July letter enclosing an "account" and later when D Arthur supplied documents to support his “Claim” (against the Laytes) on 29 July 2002. Amongst them was (98) which revealed that stock and contents were also part of the settlement.


20 July                        (158) Arthur letter threat of an interim injunction unless Laytes allow Arthurs to sell the shop without any interference when they want, to whom they wish and at their valuation.


21 July                        21 July 2002 Letter from D Arthur enclosing an account dated 28 June 2002 revealing receipt of £10,000 from tenants.


26 July                        (159+4)  Arthur Application  for interim injunction Arthurs be allowed to sell 52 Fore Street – without interference from Laytes or their agents (This was later refused refused by Judge Griggs on 2 August 2002 and ddirections given for filing defense.  Costs in the case)


29 July                        D Arthur delivers by way of service a bundle of evidence to J Layte's home (without a list of the documents).  Since we had no solicitor at this time and D Arthur was aware of this and K Layte lived in Wadebridge he should have served a duplicate bundle to her address


31 August                  169) Arthur Defence to Layte Counterclaim (Paragraph 4 is interesting as neither D Arthur or A Arthur has supplied the Laytes with even one sheet of paper that could be described as  "accurate, true and complete accounts" of anything since 1988) The "last such account" "prepared on 28 June 2002" (but not supplied until enclosed with a letter of 21 July 2002 ... some five weeks after the settlement and three weeks after D Arthur had removed most of the shop contents) is actually the "first such account"   ---   Could it be that Mr Arthur was deliberately concealing the agreement with our joint tenant(s) from the Laytes?  Recorder Parish thinks not. Recorder Parish also states in his Judgement Addendum regarding our letter of 14 June 2002 "Mr Arthur did obtain further rent monies" ...  NO HE DID NOT OBTAIN ANYTHING FURTHER TO THE DEFENDANT'S LETTER BECAUSE THE LETTER WAS WRITTEN (AT MR ARTHUR'S REQUEST) AFTER MR ARTHUR HAD SETTLED WITH THE TENANTS AND FIVE WEEKS BEFORE THE DEFENDANTS FOUND OUT THERE HAD BEEN A SETTLEMENT. As can be seen from Mr Arthur's own evidence during the day on 14 June 2002 he received a fax settlement (Arthur document 159.1). Instead of telling the Laytes about the settlement in a phone call later in the evening about other things (Arthur document 161) he requests we fax our agreement that he has our authority to transfer Pott's stock to his own abode as he had strangely volunteered to do a few days earlier (an agreement was near no doubt). The fact that D Arthur has placed the documents out of sequence (deliberately ?) has confused Recorder Parish but given that our 14 June 2002 fax gives Mr Arthur the authority to clear the shop of  "material, etc. belonging to Potts" at a time when Mr Potts did not own the "material, etc" renders the fax meaningless. Obviously if D Arthur had told the Laytes that they owned half the contents in the phone call they would not have written a fax that states "belonging to Potts" when nothing in the shop belonged to Potts. This was explained in J Layte's counterclaim witness statement (A 054) and (A 055) but seems to have been overlooked by Recorder Parish.