Millionaire denies crash was his fault

THE multi-millionaire owner of the Foxtons estate agents chain yesterday denied he was to blame for his former business partner's quad bike crash at his luxury Suffolk home.

THE multi-millionaire owner of the Foxtons estate agents chain yesterday denied he was to blame for his former business partner's quad bike crash at his luxury Suffolk home.

Jon Hunt, 51, told Central London County Court that Steve Hewitt's version of the high speed accident was "fabricated" and "inaccurate'.

Mr Hewitt, 39, of Clapham, south west London, broke his collarbone, shoulder blade and several ribs after falling off the bike at about 60mph during a July 2001 team-building event at Heveningham Hall, Mr Hunt's stately home near Halesworth.

He claims Mr Hunt was negligent and led him without warning into a dangerous pit.

But yesterday Mr Hunt denied urging him to follow on the quad bike or moving Mr Hewitt while he lay injured on the ground.

On questioning from Mr Hewitt, who was representing himself, Mr Hunt said: "You were not following me.

Most Read

"I did not stop at the top (of the hill) because you were not there - that is absolutely the case. What you have said is fabricated.'

Barry Cotter, representing Mr Hunt, argued the accident probably happened because Mr Hewitt simply got on a quad bike, sped off through unfamiliar territory after having taken amphetamines and drunk three cans of beer and was unable to break in time.

Mr Hewitt hotly contests these allegations.

Mr Cotter suggested the compensation claim was triggered in 2002 only after the pair stopped doing business.

He said Mr Hewitt was hoping to cash in with the claim "knowing Mr Hunt to be a successful and wealthy businessman, the inconvenience of this trial and publicity and, indeed, the inconvenience to his (Hunt's) family would force him into some form of payment.'

Mr Hewitt claims his marriage and business, which had a contract to erect Foxtons "for sale' signs, collapsed as a result of his injuries.

In his closing statement Mr Hewitt argued: "If you are invited into someone's home you would not expect them to leave a tripwire at the top of the stairs.

"Everything that Jon Hunt has said today is wrong. He did not warn me about the pit.'

Judge Jeffrey Burke QC, who heard the claim, reserved judgment to a date yet to be fixed.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter