Mr. RICHARD UKHUELEIGBE, Sworn
Examined by Miss BHALOO
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, and please feel free to sit or stand, whichever you like.
MISS BHALOO: Mr. Ukhueleigbe, could you give his Honour your name and business address, professional address, please?
A My name is Richard Ukhueleigbe and my business address is 100 Chalk Farm Road, Camden NW1 8ER.
Q And Mr. Ukhueleigbe, there should be a bundle labelled "B.1" in front of you.
A That's the blue one.
Q And could you turn to tab 13 of that bundle? Is that your witness statement?
Q And, on p.8, is that your signature?
A That's my signature, yes.
Q And have you had an opportunity to go through your witness statement recently?
A I have.
Q And are the contents true?
Q Thank you. Your Honour, again I would ask that it stands ...
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, and what I want to do is, to some extent, start from almost like examination-in-chief.
Questioned by JUDGE
Q First of all, I understand that, if you go to para.4 on p.46, you say: "My first involvement" - this is in the second line. Have you got it?
Q -- "was when Jo Gavin contacted me directly and asked me to look at a leak which she said affected part of the staircase leading down to the basement of 104." And then you say: "This was 27th April 2004, according to our records," and then you refer to an exhibit on p.2. Could you get out, please, the bundle B.2? Is it there?
A B.2, yes.
Q And if you go to p.184 of that?
Q What I want to know is what was it which the record tells you happened on 27th April 2004?
Q 27th April 2004.
A Yes, the job issue was on 106820.
Q Sorry, from what are you reading?
A This, at the bottom bit.
Q The bottom one?
Q "Job card issued"?
Q I see, 106820.
A "Trace and remedy leak" ----
Q "... remedy leak affecting shop below."
Q "Peter or Richard." Is that how it reads? Richard appears in a much later column, as I understand it but I may be wrong.
Q Peter or Richard?
A No, Peter, that is the contractor.
Q How does that sentence end?
Q Andy to attend with Richard. Anyway, so that is the job number: 106820. Job card issued 27.04.04 and then Ryden Property Maintenance 27.04.04 and then appointment 5th May afternoon. So what is it in that record which enables you to say that it was on 27th April? Is it when she rang, or when you went along to the property?
A She rang and I went to visit her at the property and she showed me a damp, where the leak is coming ----
Q Yes, I know, but, sorry, I will come to that in a moment. What is it to which - 27th April 2004, on that record, refers? Is it a visit, or a call, or what?
A It's for a plumber to go up the flight above the shop to rectify the leak.
Q It is when the plumber goes to ----
A That was when this job was raised. It's a date the job was raised for a plumber to go on the appointment on ----
Q The date when the job is arranged?
A Raised - the order was raised for a plumber.
Q Order was raised.
Q Right, order was raised. And does it tell you when the plumber went along?
A The date will - the appointment will be given as the 5th for the plumber to attend.
Q 5th May?
Q I see, so order was raised 27th; plumber to attend on 5th May. Tell me if I have got it wrong, or right. You were not the plumber.
A No, I ----
Q You were the person who went and raised the job.
Q Is that right?
A Yes, sir.
Q And you did that on the 27th.
A Yes, sir.
Q And you could only do that by going along to the property.
Q Fine, so you went along on 27th April?
A Yes, sir.
Q You were about to tell me what happened. She rang you.
Q And you went along on the 27th.
Q When did she ring you?
A I'm not very sure the time she rang, but it was on that 27th she rang and I went ‑‑‑‑
Q She rang on the 27th and you went to see her. Where did you meet her?
A At the shop.
Q At 104 or 106-8?
A 104, 104.
Q "At 104, I met her." And then what did you find?
A She showed me the casing that was wet and I notice on the side of the casing some wetness as well, on the wall.
Q Side of casing wetness. And this was in the basement or the ground floor?
A The ground floor.
Q On ground floor. Yes, and were you able to say what the cause of the wet was?
A At that very time, we raised - I mean, I went upstairs with her to see if we can get access to the floor - the flight above. The tenant wasn't around.
Q You went upstairs with her to see if access to flat. Do you remember which flat it was?
A Flat 3.
Q It was Flat 3. And do you remember now who occupied Flat 3?
A I could remember it's a black boy, like myself, but I couldn't remember his name then now. I don't remember his name but I know he's a black boy.
Q A black boy, but cannot remember name. Did you form any view as to what the cause of the leak was?
A Again, I couldn't view - I couldn't think of any cause. I don't know what it was, the cause of the leak was.
Q "I didn't know what the leak was." So we know then that you raised the job.
Q And that was for a plumber --
Q -- to attend.
Q Raised job for plumber to attend on 5th May. Did you have occasion to go to the premises before 5th May?
Q I mean after your visit on 27th April.
Q And so tell me about that.
A Yes, after a while, I tried to get hold of the tenant for access ... get it off him, and he gave me permission to ----
Q Sorry, you did what?
A After ... to get hold of the tenant, I was successful to get hold of him and ----
Q You got hold of the tenant.
A Tenant, and he told me where to come and meet him. Then I went to his flat.
Q "I went to is flat."
Q And do you remember whether that was before or after 5th May when the plumber --?
A That was before the 5th May.
Q Before the 5th. "I went to his flat before 5th May."
Q Yes, and what did you find in his flat?
A I notice there were some damages to the tiles on the wall by the bath.
Q I noticed damage to tiles on wall by the bath."
A And I raised a job for that to be rectified as well.
Q You raised that job.
Q Was that an additional one?
A Additional, yes.
Q "I raised that as a job." And does that appear here?
A I'm trying to look ... (After a pause): No, it doesn't appear. It doesn't seem to be here.
Q On the first visit, on the 27th, you raised a job and you called it "remedy leak affecting shop below".
Q What would you have raised on that second occasion?
A Well, because I have noticed now that the tiles were faulty and I thought probably maybe when he's using the bath, water is going through the damaged tiles and is going down to the shop.
Q I am terribly sorry, I did not take that in.
A Okay, because when I went in the second time - I mean, when I went into the flat above, I notice by the bath that the tiles --
Q Yes, I follow that.
A -- the tiles were crack and some of them were damage, so my assumption was that, when he's having his bath, water is seeping through the cracks.
Q Yes, I understand that.
Q But what did you ----
A For the tiles to be rectified, for the tiles damage to be put right.
Q Tile damage to be put right.
Q For tile damage --
A On the wall, yes.
Q -- to be put right. And do you know whether a plumber went on 5th May?
A The tenant confirmed that the plumber came, the tenant ----
Q Who was the tenant?
A The Flat 3.
Q I see, tenant of Flat 3: he confirmed that the plumber came.
A Yes. And the tiles as well was done.
Q And tiling was done.
Q Tiling was done. And how long after 5th May was that?
A Because this issue was - there was concern about it. I was regularly communicating with Jo and also with the tenant to make sure because it was a difficult thing to get hold of the tenant, so I was making sure that job was done before he disappears again.
Q Before what?
A Before he disappeared, before the tenant goes away for - I mean, to make sure the job was carried out before the tenant goes away.
Q So does that meant the tenant told you it had been done within days or weeks or months?
A No, it was before - I mean, during the time of the appointment.
Q At the time of the appointment.
A Was kept, yes, the appointment was kept.
Q The same day, or the day after, two days after?
A On the 5th, the 5th of ...
Q On the 5th?
Q On the 5th?
Q I see, on the 5th, the tenant told you ----
A Yes, I mean, the job was done. The next day, I called him and ----
Q The next day?
Q On the 6th.
A Yes, he told me the job was done, so I went back to see the tiles were ----
Q The next day, you called on him.
A I called on his phone.
Q You phoned him
Q "I phoned him". What is this about para.8? You finish para.7 by saying: "I raised a job order around 5th May for a contractor to replace the tiles and seal around the bath to ensure that the water did not escape."
Q And then you say: "We use a range of contractors to undertake work for us and, in this instance, a company called Shenstone was instructed."
Q "As I understand it, there were problems with regard to the tenant in gaining access to the flat, and the job order was therefore reissued on 18th August 2004." What was the cause of the reissue?
A The issue was to do with the plumbing because she told me that there's still leak coming through.
Q So, after 6th May, the claimant got in touch with you again?
A Got in touch with me because the leak is still coming in.
Q I see, claimant said "leak still coming in". As I understand what you have said already, the plumber went in on 5th May and then the tenant told you the next day, on 6th May, that he had been in and he had done the job.
A He's been in and gone, yes.
Q So there was no problem about getting access then.
A Then, because it was arranged, yes.
Q I see, because it was arranged.
Q So there was a further complaint from the claimant after 6th May.
Q And at some stage before August. Do you remember now when that complaint was?
A For now, I couldn't remember the date it was but I know she call because she did call me and we do - I do follow up to know what is happening in that premises as well.
Q Do you remember whether her call was in June or July or August?
A I'll be telling a lie if I said ----
Q No, I quite understand. If you do not remember, say so.
A I don't remember.
Q But she rang you at some stage --
Q -- before August.
Q At some stage before August. It was over the phone.
A Over the phone, yes.
Q At some stage before August. Did you go to the premises?
A I did go, I did visit the area very well. I visit the building, the estate, very well and, most of the time when I visit there, I did try and check ... to see if he's there because we normally - then we do have a good communication ...
Q Do you remember whether you went into no.104 after her call?
A Yes, I did.
Q You did.
A I mean, I must have been there, yes, I must have been.
Q You must have been.
A I must have been. I'm not 100 percent sure. I must have been.
Q Must have been there but not 100 percent sure. You say that you reissued a job order, or raised an order, on 18th August 2004.
A Something ----
Q Does that feature here? I just want to see what it was. If you can find it, it might help you to remember whether or not you saw the premises before, because the person who prepared your witness statement appears to have been under the impression that you attended - someone attended - on 23rd August.
A (After a pause): I can't see anything ...
MISS BHALOO: Sorry, I have just been told by my instructing solicitor just in case it assists, your Honour. Of course, she prepared the statement.
JUDGE COWELL: I am sure she did and I wondered where she got it from.
MISS BHALOO: Yes, your Honour, there was an earlier statement which was prepared for the insurers, which is in an exhibit bundle, and, at the time that was prepared - which was not prepared by my instructing solicitor, that was just prepared at that time - there may have been other records available and so some of the references will have come from that, and your Honour may also have seen the document - your Honour is looking, I think, at pp.184 and 185 in the exhibits bundle.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes.
MISS BHALOO: But there is another one, at pp.187 and 188, which I think was one prepared - it says in the witness statement it was prepared in October 2006, and I think that was prepared for the insurers and that has job numbers on it, on the left, which do not all - some of them appear on the one we are looking at, but some of them do not. So the August one ----
JUDGE COWELL: 18th August?
MISS BHALOO: 10302: I cannot find it on the one we are looking at, but it does appear on that. Your Honour, that is just in case it assists you to know how it was ----
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, I see. I am really trying to ascertain what the witness remembers by reference to documents which will help him.
If you go on to p.187, this is probably not a document you recognise but it looks as though ----
MISS BHALOO: Sorry to interrupt, your Honour. He says, in para.3 of his witness statement - and it is a summary of works orders raised and actions taken ----
JUDGE COWELL: Sorry, one moment.
MISS BHALOO: Sorry, your Honour.
JUDGE COWELL: Paragraph 3.
MISS BHALOO: Last sentence: that document is a summary of works orders raised and actions taken "which I prepared".
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, I know he says it, but it is really the solicitor.
MISS BHALOO: No, your Honour - I do not know. Perhaps we had better ask the witness.
JUDGE COWELL: Have you got p.187?
Q It looks pretty authentic because there is a job number. But do you see there --
A I see that, yes.
Q -- job 110302?
A Yes, my Lord.
Q 18th August.
Q And 23rd August. And then it says "above", whatever that means: "Shenstone failed to attend on 12th May," and then: "Job reissued to FWA. Attended on 23rd August. Did no work due to wet wall."
Q "Rebooked. Tenant failed to give access. FWA ... the wall tiling on 14th Ocotber 2004."
Q Is that something you remember?
Q You do, right, "I remember". It may not matter but it looks rather as though the job was not done on 5th May. Can you help me about that?
A Well, I mean, my assumption is it was done because the tenant told me the plumber came and chased it up. Probably, from higher source, this one comes in again because we are still - even when I went in there to check through, we're not very sure where the leak was coming through. We just try to finally - to sort it out in a way. And, at the end of it, we found out that it's not even the leak that we're repairing; it's something else that was coming ----
Q I know you found out something else.
Q But I just want to know. Your recollection is that you went there to 104 before raising the job on 18th August.
Q And you raised that job and, as you say, the records show that the wall tiling was done on 14th October. Then you go on to say that Jo Gavin - the records show that she called you on 15th October.
Q But if she did, then you would have reported that Flat 2 had been done the previous day. At para.11, you say: "It was not until 24th January that a further leak was reported by the tenant of Flat 3," and that is p.184.
Q 24th January 2005. Which record is that?
A It's on one ...
Q The job no.116853?
Q Leak to ground floor. That is not a reference to the flat, is it?
A It's the shop.
Q It is the shop.
Q So why should the tenant of Flat 3 report dampness in the shop?
A Well, he reported a leak. That was the ... I had, that there was a leak.
Q Who from?
A That's what the call came out from the flat above, Flat 3.
Q How would the occupier of Flat 3 know that there was a leak in the ground floor?
A I mean, my assumption is there was a call for a leak, so I went in to attend because I know there's a leak affecting the shop anyway, so I just went into meet up with the plumber there. That was reported at the call centre ...
Q I will leave Miss Flores to deal with that.
Q She may remember whether she called, but, at first sight, I should have thought that the person who would be complaining of a leak in the ground floor would be an occupier of the ground floor.
Q Do you remember?
A Well, what I'm saying is this call was reported to the call centre, and I was asked to meet the plumber.
Q Would it have been reported by you?
A It must have been reported by Miss Gavin. It must have been reported by Miss Gavin.
Q Yes, that is what I thought.
A That should be. But the person that spoke to me was Flat 3. Flat 3 ----
Q And how come Flat 3 spoke to you?
A Well, I mean ... with Flat 3 and Miss Gavin. Probably she must have met Miss Gavin and he told her - he told him that there's a leak coming from his flat again.
Q Was the order of events this? Miss Gavin phoned in, complaining of a leak?
A Yes, yes, I wasn't - he wasn't phone me. He phoned the office.
Q You do not know who phoned.
A I didn't.
Q Your statement says: "A further leak was reported by the tenant of Flat 3." That is inaccurate.
A What I'm saying is Miss Gavin supposed to report that case. But when he reported it, maybe he called the call centre to report the incident to them.
Q Anyway, as you understand it now, Jo Gavin reported to the call centre.
A That was my assumption. That's my assumption, yes.
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, I think the witness has made it clear that he does not know who called the call centre.
JUDGE COWELL: No, exactly.
MISS BHALOO: He only knows that a call was made to the call centre.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, precisely. Because he does not know, he is not able to say that it was reported by the tenant of Flat 3. That is typical of the way witness statements are prepared by somebody and then they are not checked.
A But, on this time, the tenant of Flat 3 told me of a leak affecting the shop again. That was why I made - I put that down: that the tenant of Flat 3 told me about that.
Q Did he? I see. What did he say to you?
A He told me there's a leak affecting flat - the shop below, again. So that was why I came in and, like I said, I didn't ...
Q There was a call to the call centre.
Q How were you notified that something should be done about it?
A By the job they raise and they notify me by email that I need to meet the plumber there.
Q There is an email?
A That's for me to meet the plumber. There's a leak affecting the shop again. So that was why I went on this issue.
Q You went to Flat 3?
A No, to the shop, to go and meet the plumber there, and Flat 3.
Q You met a plumber where?
A At the shop and we check Flat 3 as well.
Q At the shop.
Q And you went to Flat 3.
Q And that was about 24th January.
Q And you say that you went to Flat 3 and you repaired a fault on the WC connection.
A We tried every means to see where a leak could be coming through.
Q Yes, I understand.
A Okay, we tried everything to see where the leak is coming through and we check the WC; everything seems to be all right there. So it was then we went down to the shop and we find that ----
Q Yes, everything seemed all right --
Q -- in the flat. You went to the shop. Yes?
A Then we tried to check the stack pipe and we noticed there was a pinhole in the stack pipe.
Q You found a pinhole --
Q -- in the stack pipe.
Q Was it basement or ground floor?
A Ground floor, it's still on ground floor.
Q On the ground-floor level.
Q What made you look at the stack pipe? How did that come about?
A Because we went - we done every bits on the flat above. Then we find that there was no leak coming through any more. There might be something wrong with the pipe, so that was why we went to check on that.
Q "We found out no leak in flat, so we looked at stack pipe." Is the stack pipe accessible without removing any kind of casing?
A We had to remove the casing for ----
Q You do have to.
Q And you removed it on that occasion.
A We removed the casing, yes.
Q What part of the casing do you remove? Do you have to go into 104?
A We had to go into 104, yes.
Q You have to go in to remove the casing.
Q "We removed casing from within 104." And did you find that the wastepipe was wet?
A The stack pipe was wet, yes.
Q Was wet. Was there a smell?
Q And what did you do about the pinhole which you ----
A That was when I raised the job on 117007.
Q That is somewhere here, yes.
A On p.187.
Q At p.187, thank you very much. Sorry, which job was it?
Q 26th, yes, thank you very much, 26th January. Then, in para.13 of your statement, if you could go back to your statement, please --
Q -- you say: "On 11th January 2005, the tenant of Flat 1 reported a faulty shower, and FWA completed the repairs on 18th January."
Q There is nothing to involve the claimants in that.
A This to do with the ... part of the shop.
Q Did you have a complaint about that from either of the claimants?
A The one you are reading now is not for the shop 104; it's for shop 106. It's two different shop.
Q Yes, I know. There was a faulty shower. But did it affect 106 at all?
A I presume so, because there's a problem affecting 106 stack pipe area as well.
Q I know, we are coming to that in a moment.
Q You did not recognise it as stack pipe for a long time. This is just part of the background, that, on 11th January --
Q -- there was a report, but the complaint came from the tenant of Flat 1.
Q Do you remember the name?
A I'm not very sure but they're Asian, they're Asian. I'm not very - I can't say exactly what the name was now.
Q Asian tenant of Flat 1. But was there any complaint from either of the claimants on that occasion?
Q Did you go to Flat 1 yourself?
A No, not on that occasion. The job was raised for them to ----
Q "I didn't go to Flat 1 on that occasion." Then we know that, at some stage in February, there was a complaint from Jo Gavin, as you say in para.14. But you cannot remember when in February, can you?
A I can't remember when in February, but I know she called me about that problem.
Q And can you remember how soon after the call to you, you went to see her premises at 106-8? Do you remember? If you do not, say so.
A I can't exactly remember, but when she calls and we're able to fix an appointment date, I normally go to meet her. I mean, when we fix, if you said, "All right, I'll meet you on Tuesday," we agreed a time, then I'll go and meet her. On some occasion it's just happen and she didn't meet up at that time.
Q That is as far as you can take it. You do not remember when you went along, but ----
A I went - I met her some time, yes.
Q And then you say, in para.15: "On 2nd March 2005, the tenant of Flat 1" - this is the Asian man?
A Asian family, yes.
Q -- "reported a leak to the bathroom." Did you go to flat no.1?
A I went to flat no.1 and, sometimes, I went to Flat 1 to see what the problem was.
Q On which occasion? Or do you not remember?
A I cannot exactly say ... but I don't think I went when the bath was problem, but when the leak in the bathroom was, I went some time but I'm not very sure when.
Q You say, in para.15, bottom of p.48: "So far as I can recall, I visited 106 -6 after the works to Flat 1 [and this was 2nd March] had been completed, in response to Jo Gavin's complaint." Then, because the works in Flat 1 had been completed, you told her about that, and you said it should resolve the problem.
A The problem.
Q Yes, I follow. And then (para.17) it was the beginning of April when you noted that the casing around the stack pipe was damp.
Q Did you think of looking at the stack pipe at any earlier stage?
Q Why not?
A I didn't because I felt probably the previous leak from the flat, from Flat 1, that has been causing the damp there, so I drew - put a mark there to see if there's any fresh leak. The mark I put there, the fresh leak will come towards it, and I would know that there's still a leak from Flat 1, then I'll have to rectify that.
Q You thought it was a leak from Flat 1. Do you remember marking in pencil ‑‑‑‑
A That's what I said just now.
Q When did you do that?
A Yes, that was when I went to - when she's reported about the leak ... damp on the stack, and showed me the stain on the ceiling, so I put a mark ----
Q Which visit was that?
A That was when ... the 17, para.17.
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, I am sorry, I think your Honour missed the witness's first reply.
JUDGE COWELL: I think I did.
MISS BHALOO: When you asked him about para.17, you said, "Did you think of looking at the stack pipe?" and he said, "I thought it was the previous leak from Flat 1, which was resolved, so I put the mark there to see if it" - and I have written "expanded", but I am not sure if he said "expanded".
JUDGE COWELL: You put the mark there.
Q And that was the pencil mark.
A Pencil mark, yes.
Q And then you raised an order on 8th April.
Q 8th April, raised order. And that is somewhere in this, is it? Yes, it is at p.188?
A 188, yes.
Q Have a look at it. Do not just say "yes" because I have ----
A I've seen it.
Q That is it?
Q And that was to be done --?
A By FWA.
Q That day. Attended late on the 8th, rebooked for Monday, 11th. Yes, I see. And what was that for?
A To renew the casing around the pipe.
Q When was that taken off?
A Well, it's supposed to be taken off by the same person that has come to renew it.
Q The casing had not been removed on the 8th. When you went in at the beginning of April, you noted that the casing around the stack pipe was damp.
Q But you did not take it off.
A Because I wasn't very sure if that leak was the final leak, that was why I put the mark there to see if there's any leak still coming through.
Q I see, put mark to see if any leak coming through. So you did not remove the casing on that visit.
A No, we didn't, because I didn't have the tools to remove the casing.
Q "No, I didn't have tools." But the job which you raised was for a renewal of the casing.
Q Job raised was for renewal of casing.
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, just to ensure there is no misunderstanding, could we just ask the witness ----
JUDGE COWELL: Sorry, this is really your witness.
MISS BHALOO: No, no, not at all, your Honour, it is very helpful.
Can I just check what you mean by "renewal"? What makes up renewal?
A Well, because there was wetness on the casing, it's wet, due to the leak and, by my putting the mark there, I felt, okay, if the leak is still coming from Flat 1, I will know by the mark. So when I went in again, after the first time I went there with the mark, I noticed there was no extension of dampness around the mark I put there. It wasn't extending. I presume the work has been done, has been carried out successfully.
JUDGE COWELL: Just a moment. How often did you go?
A I do go there more often, once I - to follow up the jobs.
Q What sort of gap in time was there between your marking the ceiling and your going back?
A Yes, some few days in between.
Q A few days.
Q When you went back, what was the difference in the staining?
A The staining was still the same thing: no change on that ceiling, that's why I presume the leak has been sorted out with the job the FW went to do in the bathroom.
Q "No change in staining between two visits, the first of which was when I marked the wall with a pencil."
Q And the second visit was, you say, a few days later?
Q Tell me if I have got your evidence right. There was no change in the staining between the two visits, and the first visit was when you marked the wall with a pencil, and the second visit was a few days later.
Q Is that right?
MISS BHALOO: Can I then go back to the question? The work order which you raised to renew the casing: what did you actually want them to do? When you say "renew the casing", what did you want them to do?
A Yes, because the casing was damp, the casing was damp and it's wet and what you do, take the damp casing off and put the new casing there.
JUDGE COWELL: The next question is did you raise the order for the new casing after the visit when you marked the wall, or after the later visit?
A After the later visit.
Q "After the later visit, I raised the order," and that is the order of 8th April.
A Yes, that's the order for 22nd.
Q I am sorry, what? I did not hear.
A No, I was reading the job that was raised on 8th February.
Q The new casing was not put on, was it?
A Well ...
Q You may have raised the job but, as I understand it, nothing happened until the removal of the casing, near the end of the month.
A I mean, I don't think the new casing was put on, because I never went back again.
Q No, I do not think it was.
A I never went back again after that because it was then ...
Q Just a moment. Sorry, I am having difficulty in understanding what you say. "I don't think new casing was put on" --
Q -- "after I raised the order." I am sorry, what are you --?
A Yes, I said it was later on my senior surveyor came into the scene to attend to these issues of the damage and the stack pipe.
Q Who was that?
A His name was Eddie, Edward.
Q Senior surveyor, Edward, came on later.
Q Did you go back to the property 106-8 after raising the order of 8th April?
A No, after that, I didn't go again because ...
Q In connection with this, anyway.
A Yes, because she later report that there was still continuation of ----
Q Sorry, wait a minute, I have got to make a note of this.
A Okay, sorry.
Q "I didn't go back again after raising the order of 8th April." And you were saying something which I ----
A I said that she - That Jo Gavin phoned again that there was still continuation of leak.
Q Sorry, there was still a continuation of the leak.
A Of leak, yes, so ----
Q How do you know that?
A I mean, she called.
Q She called.
A She called, yes.
Q She called.
A She reported that.
Q And said there was a continuation of the leak.
Q So what did you do about that?
A So we ask them to deal with that job that was raised ...
Q You did what?
A We told the contractor to deal with the job that was raised about the casing.
Q "We told the contractor." Who is "we"?
A I mean, I told the contractor ----
Q "I told the contractor," to do what?
A To trace and deal with the casing job.
Q To trace?
A Yes, the leak, where the leak is coming from.
Q Trace the leak and deal with the job.
Q And who was the contractor you spoke to?
A That's FWA.
Q Yes, but what human individual did you speak to?
A I wouldn't be able to tell name of the ...
Q When you ring FWA, who did you ask for?
A I speak with the supervisor all the time.
Q With whom?
A The supervisor, supervisor.
Q I see, "I spoke to supervisor." In para.18 of your statement, you say: "My notes indicate that, once the duct casing was opened, the source was traced from" - where are your notes? What are your notes?
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, it was the document to which I was referring: pp.187/188.
JUDGE COWELL: But these are not your notes, are they? Or are they?
A That was the instruction.
Q Page 187: is that to what you are referring?
Q Pages 187 and 188, yes. These are your notes, are they? Did you write them?
A No, it's the job instruction. It's an order instruction for job to be carried out.
Q I know they are. Let us go to para.18 again: "My notes indicate that, once the duct casing was opened, the source was traced from the bath trap above."
Q Where is the bath trap?
A That's should be in Flat 1.
Q In Flat 1.
Q I will look at your notes in a moment. The bath trap was in Flat 1.
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, the notes which are in the exhibit: if your Honour goes back to p.186, there is an email from Michael Connor to Toosha Shah, that is why, your Honour, as it says in the beginning of the statement, this was a document prepared by Richard in October 2006. Does your Honour remember the bit I referred you to at the beginning of the statement: para.3?
JUDGE COWELL: Paragraph 3?
MISS BHALOO: Yes.
JUDGE COWELL: Just a minute.
MISS BHALOO: I think your Honour assumed it had been prepared by solicitors, but the last sentence of para.3: "The other document, at pp.4-6, is a summary of works orders raised and action taken, which I prepared in October 2006."
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, I see.
MISS BHALOO: And then p.186 is ----
JUDGE COWELL: Those are later referred to as "my notes".
MISS BHALOO: Yes, and, on 2nd October 2006, we see that document going from Michael Connor to Toosha Shah ... saying: "Here is the document from Richard," and, your Honour, that is why I was saying that that document had been prepared by him, from other records which were available at the time. I am sorry, I did not make myself clear at the beginning.
JUDGE COWELL: There was so much which was not clear in this statement that I wanted to - thank you very much.
"My notes indicate that, once the duct casing was opened, the source was traced from the bath trap [and that is in Flat 1], which was immediately repaired." Where is the repair to the bath trap? (After a pause): Yes, against order 120908?
Q Is that right?
A That is the instruction, yes, 120908, yes.
Q 120908. Were you there on 26th April?
A No, I wasn't there.
Q So that must be what somebody reported to you.
A That was what they told me they find out that bath trap was damaged and they had to renew it, that's where the leak is coming from and that's what they did.
Q That is what you were told.
Q Do you remember who told?
A That's the contractor that went up with him. I won't be able to tell you the name of the ----
Q Told by contractor about the bath trap. Did you understand that the contractor had been into Flat 1?
A Yes, I mean, that was the instruction we give to them: that they should trace where the leak is coming from because she - I mean, the - Gavin report it. They say continuation of leak, so we ask the plumber to go in and trace where the leak is coming from again. So he told us that it's from the bath trap.
Q So you were not there.
A I wasn't there.
Q But what you were told by the contractor was that it was the bath trap ----
A Bath trap, yes.
Q And did you understand from that that the contractor had been into --
A Flat 1.
Q -- Flat 1?
Q "I understood contractor had been to Flat 1." So the only time in April you went was at the beginning of April, when you raised the order for the new casing.
A Yes, that was the last time I went in there.
Q That was the last time you went into 106-8.
Q Again, you were not there on 26th April.
A I wasn't there.
Q But you were told that the duct casing had been opened.
Q I think we have photos showing that. And then if we can move on to the next part of your statement, the leak to no.104 as a result of what I know was a flood from above. Can I just ask you this? Did you go to no.104 at any time after the flood?
A I did.
Q You did.
Q And can you tell me when? It is at para.22: "I arrived at the premises later that day," that is Monday, 27th June.
A Yes, I think I got access into their flat when they were doing some painting work on 29th.
Q Yes, and I think that was the occasion when they did not want you to do anything.
Q Yes, I remember. And then was there any other visit which you made to the premises in relation to anything else in your statement?
A I know she'd made mention of the problem with the glass ...
Q Glass bricks?
A Glass bricks outside. I know she made mention of that, which I later on refer to the other department dealing with that and ...
Q Yes, you referred that to somebody else.
Q So am I right in saying that, in relation to the claimants, the last visit you made to either of the premises was at the end of June, when they were painting?
A In relation to leaks from both flats.
Q Thank you very much.
A Thank you, sir.
Q I do not know if there is anything you want to ask arising out of that, Miss Bhaloo?
MISS BHALOO: No, thank you, your Honour.
JUDGE COWELL: I want to make it clear to Miss Flores that she is of course entitled to ask any questions of this witness about any of that, but I just wanted to get a general picture of the events because it seemed to me there were certain parts of the statement which were not particularly clear.
MISS BHALOO: No, your Honour, I have nothing.
JUDGE COWELL: Thank you very much.
Cross-examined by Miss FLORES
Q Just a couple of questions. Chris Natt said he was a valuation surveyor. What kind of surveyor are you?
A I'm a maintenance surveyor.
A ... maintenance.
JUDGE COWELL: Maintenance surveyor.
MISS FLORES: Does the Orchard system deal with commercial properties actually on the Orchard system?
A Normally, as I said - as I did explain to you previously when I ... that commercial properties - I've been there with Jacqui. She is supposed to be dealing with that. I mean, when she ask us to deal with this because of the leak from the flat, that was when we were involve in it because normally the issue of commercial properties would go through the insurance and that's - will be dealt with by Jacqui.
Q So does the Orchard system have a box for commercial properties? It is normally Jacqui that deals with that ----
A What I'm saying is when ----
Q Are you suggesting that it is not on the Orchard system?
A I don't study the Orchard that much to know if there's any section that deals with commercial issues, but any repairs that were related that we should - that is affecting commercial from our tenant, we raise the job to rectify the leak from wherever it's coming from the flat.
JUDGE COWELL: Did you smell an unpleasant smell in no.106-8 when you went there?
A I didn't smell any bad smell, apart from damp smell.
MISS FLORES: What smell?
A Damp, yes.
Q That would probably be from the pavement lights, which were saturated.
A Well, that's only what I smell.
Q That is what you smelled.
A Damp, yes.
Q Do you remember when we dealt with the first stack pipe at 104 in April and we dealt with a contractor called Million, which you might ----
A Well, like I said, I don't remember the name, but I remember that issue of 104 with the stack pipe.
JUDGE COWELL: Did you not think that there might be something wrong with the stack pipe in 106-8?
A Well, like I did under the one at 104. Before I did - before I would find out where the pinhole was, we've already sort of like sort out the problem from the flat above to make sure there's no leak coming from that flat. That was the approach I wanted to make up in that 106 as well. That was why I started my repair from the flat, to make sure I eliminate any leak from that area.
Q Yes, but the point is that you had found there was something wrong with the waste stack pipe going down to 104; you found that out --
Q -- in 2004.
Q Did you not think of looking at the other stack pipe?
A It was when it was reported, I have to check on that. I can't just - I mean, it's a commercial property. I cannot be jumping until when she notify me that something ...
Q Sorry, I ----
A If she notify me where there was something happening with the other stack, then I will go and check on that. I could not just go and be searching through a premises without her notifying me of any fault in the premises.
Q "If she'd notified me of stack problem ..."
MISS FLORES: I just wanted to ask, referring to 104, bringing us back to April 2004 which is when we first met. Do you remember - because I got the premises in April 2004 of the next-door shop, so I do not know if you might recall there was a lot of wood lying around on the floor because I was fixing the - I was making a new floor? But do you remember I might have dragged you next door to have a look at the pavement lights, around the April.
A The pavement?
Q You know, the soffits.
A The glass?
Q Yes, do you remember I dragged you maybe next door to just have a look at the - and you said something about I should check with the council that this was a public highway, but you did not think it was your responsibility? Do you remember that?
A I remember that, yes. We spoke about that, and I told you that, well, I will go back to the office and I'll report it to the group that deals with that.
Q That is it, yes.
A That's what I did, and that was ----
Q And that was around that April.
A Well, I could - I'm not very sure what time.
Q But it was the only we were meeting around then - was April.
A I will be meeting - we met many times but I could not exactly pinpoint the one it was, but I know we - you spoke about that, and I relate it back to the group.
Q I know you did. I am just saying I am trying to identify the dates because we met around April. I had reported it to Jacqui Greene. She had asked me to report it to you, which was the normal system, and I brought you next door to look at the pavement. And there was another time where you looked at the pavement because I was going a bit mad about the whole pavement thing, was I not? And so I think I showed you the pavement twice. Was it twice or ‑‑?
A Well, like I said, I wouldn't ----
Q You had a friend with you. Do you remember?
A I wouldn't be able to tell exact month.
Q Does not matter about the dates. I am just saying ----
A But you reported it to me, then I passed it to----
Q And you saw it, you saw it a few times.
A Well, I look at it, and I felt, "Okay, maybe they need to do some work on it," but I said - I was assuming, for the start, that it's the - it belonged to the Camden Council because it's a street walkway. I presume it was ... but when I got to the office, I mean, I reported it to the group dealing with it, and I left it with them.
JUDGE COWELL: Just a moment. "I reported to group." And what group was that?
A The planned maintenance.
Q The what?
A The planned cyclical maintenance ...
Q I am so sorry, the what?
A Planned maintenance, planned - P-L-A-N ----
Q Planned maintenance.
MISS BHALOO: Planned cyclical maintenance.
JUDGE COWELL: Planned cyclical maintenance.
Q Miss Flores, is it your case that the waste stack pipe in 106-8 ought to have been discovered much earlier?
MISS FLORES: Yes.
JUDGE COWELL: Because, if it is, you should put the facts on which you rely to this witness.
MISS FLORES: I mean, I think you have asked a number of questions.
JUDGE COWELL: I have, but ----
MISS FLORES: Would you like me to go through my questions? I have got a lot of questions.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, certainly, because this ----
MISS FLORES: I just thought I maybe just ask a couple of questions.
JUDGE COWELL: It seems to me this is --
MISS FLORES: I will start from the beginning then really.
JUDGE COWELL: -- the important point in the case.
MISS FLORES: Yes.
JUDGE COWELL: Can I just explain? It seems to me this is the important point in the case and so it is very relevant to deal with this particular matter.
MISS FLORES: Yes, I am very happy to go through quite a lot of questions.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes.
MISS FLORES: I was just anxious that you have asked a lot of those questions.
JUDGE COWELL: I have asked by way of sort of introduction into the subject.
MISS FLORES: Okay, that is great then. Mr. UK, I will start again.
A That's okay.
Q Chris Natt said that - well, he was a valuation - and you say you are a maintenance surveyor. What is that, a maintenance --?
Q Is that everything?
A Reactive maintenance, repairing any defects.
Q Any defects to --?
A To a properties, to other ... properties as well.
JUDGE COWELL: And you can, incidentally, show him the photographs.
MISS FLORES: I will, I will.
So the type of surveyor you are would - because I understand valuation, because that is kind of straightforward, but you deal with maintenance of --?
A Day-to-day repair maintenance, day-to-day occurrence, repair maintenance, yes.
Q Okay, I will not go further with that --
A That's okay.
Q -- because I do not really understand it but I get you, sort of. Now, one thing I want to ask you is the residential maintenance, you said, is not part of commercial maintenance.
A The residential?
Q The residential is - you deal with ----
A Yes, I deal with the residential.
Q How many flats do you deal with?
A I deal with all the residential issues.
Q It says in your statement 550 flats.
A Well, in that block, I deal with many more than that now but, at that period of time, we deal with all that, yes.
Q Yes, so, at that time, you were in charge of 550 residential maintenance flats --
Q -- which is quite a large amount of flats.
A Well, you can say that, you can say that. It's part of the job description and ...
Q Actually, on the job description, does it say that you have to deal with commercial?
Q So you are very clear that you are not ...
A No, no.
Q Does your union rep know you are here?
Q Does your union representative know you are here? I mean, you are dealing with a commercial case. You are in court about ----
A Yes, because I was roped in to deal with these issues from our flat that affected you, so I have to be here.
Q I suggest maybe that that is not really - you do not feel that is fair?
A It's the job. It's the company that employ me, so I have to attend to their instruction, so it's okay.
Q So it is not in your contract, that is for sure.
A I don't deal with commercial.
Q You do not and ----
A It's Jacqui, then it's Jacqui and the other - I mean we have series of departments that deal with series of issues.
Q In fact you mentioned City Living - City Style/City Living?
A I didn't mention anything of this.
Q In your witness statement, you mentioned there was contractors that deal with leaseholders.
MISS BHALOO: Can you show us the page ...
MISS FLORES: It would delay me to locate it right now. Can I just continue?
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, I do not think it is in this ...
JUDGE COWELL: No.
A No, I don't think I'd say something like that, not in my statement.
MISS FLORES: Okay, I will locate it because it is definitely in here.
MISS BHALOO: ...
MISS FLORES: It does, it does. I remember reading it.
You said, in your earlier statement to Alan Hines, that there is some leaseholders, which were different properties; that Jacqui would do those - responsive repair, development. Here we go: 550 domestic properties. The area you were covering was South London.
Q Extending from King's Cross to West End. In 2004, "according to our records, it is likely that, as a commercial property, she had initially spoken with Jacqui Greene, who deals with commercial portfolios."
MISS BHALOO: Can I just check from where you are reading? Can we have the page reference?
MISS FLORES: It is the old statement of Mr. UK, which is on p.D.3, 699.
JUDGE COWELL: This is a draft, is it not, of a statement?
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, I think it is part of the insurance file ...
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, it may have been signed.
MISS FLORES: This was a statement made to Alan Hines, the original loss adjustor.
JUDGE COWELL: Did you prepare it, or was it done by somebody else?
A Yes, done by them.
Q Done by --?
MISS FLORES: "Done by them".
A By the ...
Q Loss assessors.
JUDGE COWELL: Done by CHA, someone ----
A No, the solicitors.
MISS FLORES: No, the loss assessor: Alan Hines. Alan Hines did his statement.
JUDGE COWELL: He did it, did he?
MISS FLORES: Yes.
A Alan Hines, yes.
Q Alan Hines did his statement.
JUDGE COWELL: I see. Did you ever sign it?
A No, I didn't sign it.
Q You were not asked to read ----
A It's not signed.
Q No, I know, that is not signed, but you never were asked to sign --
A Well, it wasn't brought to my ----
Q -- or check whether it was correct?
A Well, it wasn't brought to my ...
Q No, it was not brought to your attention.
MISS FLORES: I do not know why but I have got "development team, planned works, City Style".
A Yes, those are the departments we have and, like I said, the company has series of departments.
JUDGE COWELL: Where does it say that?
MISS FLORES: Sorry --?
JUDGE COWELL: Which page of this?
MISS FLORES: No, it does not seem to say it, but I think Richard knows what I am talking about. What were you saying, Richard?
A Well, what I'm saying to you is I never mentioned anything about City Style in my statement.
Q No, but I am trying to ascertain - I will tell you where I am coming. I am trying to link the fact that you are residential maintenance. Got absolutely nothing to do with this commercial case in terms of - that is my suggestion anyway, and that CHA have a commercial - sorry, a leasehold property service, which would not over-stretch you but would allow them to deal with me as a commercial leaseholder who is being made money out of my business, with a City Style maintenance team. So my suggestion is you should not be here. They should ----
A Well, if I could correct you, City Style - 2004, City Style wasn't existing.
Q Was it not?
A Wasn't existing. It came in after 2004. Yes ... group was being dealt with by Jacqui, and we had a planned maintenance section and we have a reactive section. Those are the group that were dealing with then. City Style is just a new ...
Q Okay, so reactive maintenance is what?
A It's to do with day-to-day reactive repairs.
Q And general maintenance is to do with --?
A General maintenance - planned maintenance is to do with the yearly ...
A Development, yes.
Q With the overall objective of --?
A The yearly decoration and repairs of commercial - I mean, communal areas and roofing and all that stuff.
Q But planned maintenance is in fact a bigger outfit in terms of its development style.
A Well, in terms of improvement, refurbishments and all that stuff.
Q So they did not budget how kitchens were maybe going to get installed and this sort of thing.
A Well, I don't know their package, but I know that's what they do: refurbishment. They do communal areas repairs.
Q I have got you. So planned maintenance - reactive maintenance. Are you reactive?
Q Yes, and you are the head of reactive ----
A I'm not the head of ...
Q You used to be.
A I mean, there was ...
Q Jim and Les?.
A Not Jim. I've forgotten ...
Q Ed? What did he look like?
A I will remember ... our manager then.
A Not Leftie. What's his name now?
Q Was not Les. What did he look like?
A He's a slim guy. Anyway ...
Q Anyway, I think I know the guy you mean and I have forgotten his name as well.
A (After a pause): O'Brien.
Q Well done, thank you very much for that. So he is the head of reactive maintenance.
Q Just for our minds' sake, you say there is six area surveyors. You said the team consisted of six area surveyors. One was maintenance manager and the other one was a senior surveyor, which was Ed Costner. Has Ed Costner always been involved ----
A Eddie Costner, Eddie Costner.
Q Okay, cool. It is just to get a picture, you understand.
A That's okay.
Q People cannot just guess. Even though it is in writing, sometimes it is better from you - Do you know what I mean? - to get a better picture. Anyway, back to my question. The Orchard system does not connect with the commercial, but if residential is part of it then you would react to it. Mr. Natt said that the first port of call if a leak occurred was Jacqui, who would then ask maintenance to inspect it. In my experience, that was always the case. Would you sort of agree?
A Yes, that would be the case if it's - if the tenant above ... caused a leak, is residential tenant.
Q So, in the case of the pavement lights, even though you were asked to have a look it, by Jacqui, it was nothing to do with residential.
A Yes, that's was why I pass it to the group that I think be dealing with it.
Q Okay, so, in effect, you had been brought in to look at something that really had ‑‑‑‑
A Well, she just want - I think she just wanted me to find a solution to sort that out, if it's something I can do. Then - but I felt it's not my area till I pass it to the group that deals with it.
Q Yes, nobody dealt with it for six months, but obviously you had been in to see it and, as you say, it is nothing to do with residential, does not affect - it is a commercial property: it is not in your contract, end of. Just to establish for the purposes of dates, which is quite important, would you say you visited twice on the pavement or three times?
A I cannot exactly tell you, you know, if it's two times/three times.
Q I cannot remember, either. I think it was twice.
A To be candid to you, I can't remember. I know I met you once and we stayed there talking about it, and that was - I didn't come back on that issue, yes.
Q Yes, that was the main thing, but I think you arrived with a friend, and you both - I think you might remember. I think it was a film person friend of yours. You and a guy arrived and we did look at the lights, but that might have been to do with the fact that it was a nice building and you might have been showing him the floor and stuff as well, but anyway. Right, it is established that the works order on 27th April 2004, stack pipe - I was just going to say do you recall me bringing you into 106 around that time? It was fixed around 27th April, was it not?
A Well, as I've already told his Honour ----
Q Yes, I do not want a repeat, sorry.
A I mean, it was fixed on the date we fixed it. When we found out the pinhole was there, that was when we fixed it.
Q Yes, fine. Yes, you have already established ----
JUDGE COWELL: He said that he did not go back again after raising the order of 8th April.
A That was to do this 106.
MISS FLORES: It is all in 2004.
JUDGE COWELL: That was 106-8. This is about 104, is it?
MISS FLORES: Yes, this is about 104. It is in 2004. It is at the exact time I got the lease on ----
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, of course, that is 27th April works order.
MISS FLORES: I got the lease on it 8th April.
JUDGE COWELL: I am sorry, I was on the wrong ----
MISS FLORES: I found that the pavement lights were leaking straight away.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes.
MISS FLORES: It just so happened Richard happened to be about with the --
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, and you showed him the ...
MISS FLORES: -- stack-pipe leak. I brought him thru, showed him the pavement leaks. He said it was the responsibility of the council. I understand better from having spoken to him today that it really was not any of his responsibility because it was not effected by a residential tenant; it was on the pavement. And, as discussed, he advised that it was a public highway and I should check with the council.
Q So can we move on from that?
A Go on.
Q Okay, now, we move to 104, which is the stack pipe itself, which is 27th April date of fixing. Now, can I just immediately say it is not relevant to the claim? We did not claim for that stack pipe. I had probably met you some time before the stack pipe was fixed, you may recall, popping in and out of the gallery around about that time and, as I said at the time, that job by Shenstone's, that guy Million, small, black guy with curly hair, really nice, did a fantastic job. It took a long time to get it done but it was a little orange and - orange staining around the electrics. You might remember, at the bottom of the floor was leading to the staircase, there was electrics and there was that paint that was sort of orange.
A I mean, I can't recollect, to be candid, exactly to be exact. I can't recollect what the issue was but I only dealt with that major aspect of it and ...
JUDGE COWELL: So there was a stack-pipe leak in 2003. The one in which you are not claiming anything: did you see any of that?
A 2003? No.
MISS FLORES: 2003?
A I didn't see anything about 2003.
JUDGE COWELL: Perhaps you do not know anything about it.
MISS FLORES: There was 2003. What happened was, from the first incident of 2003 where we looked at it and there was some staining, it took six months to fix, but it was not as bad as the second leak.
A Was I involve in 2003?
Q Well, I cannot --
A I don't think I did.
Q -- recall, but I know that you were the one ----
JUDGE COWELL: You were not involved.
A No, I wasn't ----
Q You were not involved in the 2003.
MISS FLORES: I know you were the one who effected the repair.
A 2004, yes.
Q Basically what happened was, in about November 2003, there were signs of staining. I reported it to Jacqui Greene.
Q Someone eventually got round to telling yourself.
Q You ordered Shenstone's to do the work.
Q And Million did a great job.
A Yes, that was when I was involved in it.
Q Not claimed for.
Q Nothing to do with this claim.
A I mean, we just tried to ... everything back to normality. I wasn't involved in 2003, but 2004, that was when I came into the scene.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, I follow.
MISS FLORES: Yes, you were employed as residential maintenance in ----
A No, I been employed before then, but I'm just saying I came into that scene of the leak in your commercial area then.
Q It is not claimed for. I think you were actually dotting in and out --
Q -- around that time, so I already knew you quite well.
Q Because I pointed out that, and the leak was fixed, not claimed, not relevant. Only relevance is that, at the time, I grabbed you to show you the pavement lights.
Q Now, the 104 stack is - no, it is in the schedule items. Now, the 104 stack pipe that is claimed for would be September 2005 stack pipe, you know the one.
A You mean 106, you mean?
Q No, no, 04, 04. There is only two stack pipes claimed for. There is 104 and there Is 106.
Q 104 happened in September 2005, was fixed.
A 104, yes, we seen them together. 106 is the September 2005.
Q Sorry, you are right, I am mixing up everything. Right, let us start again. The September 2004 ...
A Five, five.
JUDGE COWELL: Is it the 104 or ----
MISS FLORES: 104.
JUDGE COWELL: 104.
MISS FLORES: Right, Richard, in April, Million fixed it.
A 104 was April 2004.
Q In April, Million fixed it, April/May/June/July/August/September, five months later, it was showing staining again and that developed over six months.
Q Well, that is what I suggest --
Q -- happened.
Q Well, you did not even see it.
A No, I mean, you did call me anyway. I did see. What I'm trying to say is ...
Q But you are saying "no".
A Okay, okay, okay.
Q But you are, one hand, saying you did not see it and then you are saying, "no", it did happen. Which one is it?
A Yes, because, obviously, and normally, if it does, you will have called me, you will have called me. That's why I said "no", because normally for that issue of that 104, you will have called me.
A You will have called me. I definitely know ... you will have called me to witness that.
Q Right, so I suggest that I did call Jacqui, who would have called you.
A Jacqui didn't call me as well.
Q That is always the way --
Q -- it works and there is some evidence to that, and I will refer to it. But to jog your memory as to the repair of it, which is what I want to get to, the repair of it was in late January/February 2005. Yes?
Q I am just saying. You remember?
A 2005 issue was related to 106.
JUDGE COWELL: No, the repair --
A The repair, yes, the repair.
Q -- was in January/early February of 2005.
MISS FLORES: 2005.
A Yes, yes.
Q It just all happened at the same time, Richard. You are not wrong. There was stack pipes that we were dealing with at the same time.
Q So, you know, I am just trying to get some facts here.
Q There was a Japanese artist that we had on. You might remember there was a big table with a futuristic ... in there. I think you said something about toilet rolls or something. That might jog your memory. It was called "What is Utopia?" No? You do not remember?
Q Okay, well, whatever. The show "What is Utopia?" was about to go on. You might remember us phoning you up, hassling you because there was a show going on. No?
A I mean, obviously you will do that because it's ... going to start on next week, blah‑blah-blah. So I said "okay". That was why we made sure that job was done and the area was tidied up for you. So when you're telling me now, that it continues again, obviously what I felt is if it did continue ... you will have called me back, which you never did. And you said you reported to Jacqui. Jacqui never did. The next thing I knew of any leak was to do with 106, which I did come in to - had a look at it, and I put a mark on it to tell you that if the damp extend more than that mark then I know there's still leak happening on the Flat 1.
Q When was that? That was in January.
A That was January 2005.
Q January, okay. Because what you are saying is basically both stack pipes happened at the same time, in January.
A They subsequently happen about a month interval.
Q Within a month.
A About a month interval.
Q Okay, so just going back to 104, do you recall - because, you see, a lot of the time, Richard, I work from memory. I think it probably is to the annoyance of the court, but a lot of the time I work from memory and I - maybe you have a similar memory as me in the situation.
Do you remember coming in and putting a hammer through that stack? Do you remember? I was quite impressed. I was like "oh" because somebody brought down that stack casing and it was you.
A That's 104.
Q And you said, "Get me a hammer." Got you a hammer. You just went "whack".
A Yes, because it was wet.
Q Exactly, but, Richard --
A Because it was wet.
Q -- do you remember it was you who opened it?
A No, it wasn't open then. It was --
Q You banged a whole in it.
A -- bang. I hammered it but ... it was wet.
Q That is right.
JUDGE COWELL: I am sorry, I cannot hear what you are saying.
MISS FLORES: In January.
A Not January, not January.
JUDGE COWELL: One moment, we are going ...
A Not January, that's what, that's what I'm trying to - I'm trying to correct issues. It's not January. I wouldn't hammer the job that has been repaired. It was before it was repaired that it did that.
MISS FLORES: Sorry, say that again. It was before it was repaired.
A Before the ----
Q Yes, that is what I am saying. You opened the stack case.
Q You were an investigative surveyor. You opened the stack case to establish that the pipe was wet behind it.
A I mean, that was why we noticed that the back was wet behind it, and I went upstairs to go and do what I had to do.
Q Yes, so, in January ----
JUDGE COWELL: It was January, was it?
MISS FLORES: Well, the end of January/February. I had to show - the reference to it, Mr. UK, is ‑‑‑‑
JUDGE COWELL: This is when the casing came off.
MISS FLORES: Mr. UK took the casing off. Thank God, someone took it off.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, exactly, in January.
MISS FLORES: And he established, yes. Put his finger on the pipe, says it is leaky.
A No, no, no, no, no, I think you are making this up, in a way. I didn't take the casing off. I wouldn't take the casing off.
Q You did not take the casing off. You just put a hammer ----
A Yes, yes, yes, I'm making two statement. You said I took the casing off. I hammered it.
Q Not all of the casing, just --
A Okay, okay, fine.
Q -- put a hammer through --
A Okay, fine.
Q -- put your finger through to establish the pipe was wet.
A Well, we know it was wet, yes, because it is damp around it.
Q I was very impressed, Mr. UK. I do not know why you are even worried. This happened. I was impressed by the fact that you did this. Why are we differing?
A No, no, I wanted to get everything properly stated because I didn't take - when you said "take the casing off" ----
Q No, I do not mean the whole box casing. I mean you whacked a hammer in it, put your finger through, "Yes, it's wet. Now you know the stack pipe's wet."
Q Right, that was end of January/beginning of February 2005 because I had the show "What is Utopia?" ... I was obviously anxious to get the leak, which was - the pipe was wet, the wall was wet. You were easily able to put that hammer through, and we - you then - let us move on - you then ordered a job.
Q You got a contractor because you do not - you are a surveyor. You do not do the contractual work, do you?
A No, the contractor do the job.
Q Yes, so then you went back to the office, raised an order.
A That's right.
Q I do not know if it is Shenstone or if - it is neither here nor there, but you raised an order. Generally, to raise an order, how long does it take: an hour, two hours or a day?
A Well, if I put the order out, I put it out. I raise it on that day. It goes to the contractor and it depends on the appointment date. So the contractor will visit on the appointment date.
Q Right, okay, so it has already been established it was some time between - you know, it was done within three or four days but the point is - I think that was the point, actually. The wall was opened by a contractor.
Q Would have been --?
A FWA ...
Q Yes, were you there when the black jubilee clips were put on - sorry, black rubber and then the two jubilee clips round the pipe? I think you popped in. I am not sure----
A I was there when ---
JUDGE COWELL: Are we still on 104?
MISS FLORES: Still on 104. You will either have a visual recollection of it, or you will not.
A I was then when he cut the damaged section off. I removed the section.
Q That is right.
JUDGE COWELL: You were there.
MISS FLORES: He was there.
JUDGE COWELL: Just a moment. "I was there when leak on 104 stack pipe" ----
MISS FLORES: And what they did, Richard, you know, because we both watched it.
JUDGE COWELL: Wait a moment, I am making a note of it.
MISS FLORES: Cut the damaged section out.
JUDGE COWELL: And this was the day when the order was met by the plumber: 31st January.
MISS FLORES: Some time around then, yes.
JUDGE COWELL: About 31st January. So you were there when the leak was cured.
MISS FLORES: Mr. UK popped in to see that the job was being effected by his contractors.
I am not wrong, am I, that you saw it ----
MISS BHALOO: Let him answer.
MISS FLORES: Sorry.
JUDGE COWELL: Let him answer.
MISS FLORES: I am actually feeding you the whole story. I am meant to let you answer, but I am not very good at this. I have never done it before.
JUDGE COWELL: All right, just pause a moment.
You were there and saw it.
A I was there with the plumber. We tried to trace where the leak is coming from after the work has been done in the flat above. It was then he identify the pinhole, the pinhole in the pipe, and he showed me, "Oh, that's where the leak is coming from, you can see it," and we noticed it seeping through - not fast, because it's small hole. It was just coming out gradually. So I ask him to take that section off and renew the section, and that was when I ask him as well to complete the job and renew the casing as well. But I didn't stay with him to renew the casing, because I have to go another inspection. But I know he did that. He took the damaged section off, I renew the section, and I left him to complete the job.
MISS FLORES: Mr. UK, when you say "pinhole" - because I saw it too - do you mean - I mean, I do not know what maintenance terms are but is that what you just call a "pinhole"? Is it the size of ----
A No, it's a pin, size of a pin, a pin, a little pinhole. It's a tiny hole on it.
Q Because I remember it having a crack.
A No, never, not on that.
Q Would you think that so much liquid could come out of a pinhole?
A Yes, it will.
Q What comes through from the stack pipe?
Q What material comes through from the stack?
A It depends on what it's connected to. It could be some stack - if it's two stack pipe, there might be one for waste from WC, the one from the bath and the wash‑hand basin. So the one that came in there, I presume, must be from the bathroom, from the bath itself, because it's all joined from the flats and, this one, it must be from the bath because the second one ... check it properly. There's two pipes in that box. One should be for the waste.
Q Which one is that? 106 has got two pipes?
A 106 got two pipes.
Q No, it has only got one pipe.
A If you check your - What it's called? - the pictures, think they should have two pipes there.
Q We will check the pictures in a minute but --
Q -- there is just one. Okay, we can check it but we will check it in a minute.
Q It has got one pipe, Richard, but that is okay. All right, we will look at G.1, 77. Is the pipe exposed in that? Yes, it is exposed: G.1, 77. So it is just one pipe in there, Richard.
A That is 106.
Q That is 106, yes.
A 106, yes.
Q Yes, just one pipe in there.
A I mean ...104 but this 106.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, that is right.
MISS FLORES: It is just the one pipe.
Q That is okay. I have lost my bit, sorry. So you hammered it open. You changed the - you got the casing changed. You made all the orders. What I wanted to ask ----
JUDGE COWELL: If you look at p.81, you will see, I think, your pencil mark.
Q And that is on 15th April.
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, that is 106 and I think we were dealing with the pinhole in ----
MISS FLORES: Yes, we are, we are.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, I quite follow that.
MISS FLORES: We are, but Richard just said there is two stack pipes in 106 and I am just showing him that that is okay but it is just one, but obviously we are not dealing with that, as you just pointed out. So can we stick to stack pipe 104?
A 106 you mean?
Q No, 104, because we are not meant to be dealing with stack - it is just because you mentioned there is a double stack pipe, we have jumped to 106.
A Okay, go on.
Q We are still on 104. We are going to be over soon.
A That's all right.
Q Right, okay, so the boxing - sorry, you put a hammer through. You raised a contract with a plumber. The plumber came along. You, me and the plumber had a look. Jubilee clips on. All done. We disagree about pinhole or crack, does not really matter, agree to disagree on that. Then you raised a contract with obviously a painter and decorator.
Q You went downstairs. You had a look, obviously below, in the fire-exit corridor. There was damage to both sides of the casing because that is obviously where everything gathers and goes all the way up, which is, you know, often why we would only get the bottom half quite damaged but, if it went on and on, it might grow further up. So you got that guy - I cannot remember who it was - to renew each side of the casing on the bottom floor and the top floor, then repaint, wait for it to dry, repaint, put two coats. That is standard, is it not?
A That's standard.
Q Standard. And replace the insulation.
Q Now, 104 had insulation - 106, never, but it does not really matter about that. But there was definitely someone went down to Travis Perkins, got the insulation, came back, job done. Would you say, estimate, two to three days? It certainly could not have been done in a day, with the drying time, the insulation time, the plumbing time, the ----
A Well, the - I presume it's going to be about two days because the fixing of the pipe that was damaged was ... and I left him to finish off the casing. So the painting work obviously will have allowed the area to dry before painting.
Q He did not paint it, though, did he? He is a plumber.
A Well, the painter came in. Not him, not him, obviously.
Q Yes, so another contract raised.
Q Okay, so we established it is a couple of days, maybe three, three days for the job to be finished. I submit that it was three days.
Q I think you said it was done in a day.
A No, the work, the leak - the pipe was done in a day.
Q Right, okay, so that is clear then.
Q That is what you meant when - so finished.
Q Right, there is some reference document to this in D.2 and B.2, that is D.2, 375. I should look at it before I tell you all to look at it, actually, because it might not be that relevant. Sorry, I will try not to do that. (After a pause): Okay, that is just our property claim form. I will just check the next document before I give it to you. B.2, 129 and 105 but really do not check yet because it might be just my own note. (After a pause): Okay, again, it is irrelevant. I will try not to do that again. 105 is - right, sorry, just my notes, I do apologise.
We will move on to the stack pipe at 106/108.
Q Thank you. In February 2005 - and I think it has been quite established that that was the date, by the courts and through this trial, that almost the same day - and you will remember, probably, running from one building to another, but almost the same day as one stack pipe was fixed at 104, another leak occurred at 106, in the bathroom.
A But not - I'm not really recollecting, but ...
Q It was quite close to each other. You said earlier it would happen within maybe a week.
MISS BHALOO: No, he said a month.
MISS FLORES: What did you say, Mr. UK? How long between you dealing with one leak were you dealing with another leak?
A I can't get your question properly.
Q Sorry, 104 happened. You got it fixed.
Q Suddenly there is another leak - I think I described it as "water on the ceiling" - next door.
Q In 106.
Q Do you remember having a look at that very first ----
A I remembered when you called me to make reference about the leak at 106. I came to meet you there. That was when I put the mark on the ceiling.
Q Right, okay, so that was - I am just asking you.
A That's all right.
Q I have to ask you these questions.
JUDGE COWELL: Put a mark on the ceiling. That was your first --?
A That my first time I go to 106, yes.
Q First visit to 106.
MISS FLORES: I think we have established that there were some emails from Jacqui that were asking you to deal with another leak at 106. Do you remember Jacqui doing that?
A Jacqui made reference to what you - when you reported that, and, when I spoke with you, I came to meet you, and you gave me a time to come and meet you. Then you showed the 106 leak to me. Then I felt - and I looked through the work orders that jobs had been raise to effect of any leak - from some leak coming from Flat 1. So I put the mark on the ceiling just to establish if there's any more leak coming through, it will go past where my mark is and I'll be able to tell that nothing has been done properly in Flat 1.
Q Could I ask you: have you had any similar occurrences with stack pipes throughout that building?
A Not in that building in the sense that your area is just where the shops are. The other parts of the buildings where we have stack-pipe problems, they are just residential and that is we straight up - we deal with them easily, without anybody interference with - I deal with them easily ...
Q Yes, of course, because they are nothing to do with commercial.
A With commercial, yes.
Q They are no trouble at all. What about John in Flat 3, above the top of the - not the sari shop, that shop on the corner?
A The elderly guy, yes.
Q Yes, I saw his ceiling was - was that stack pipe?
A That was a stack pipe. That was just leak. from sinks, WC, whatever. I mean, he had some problem with leak in his flat.
Q Right, that just leaves me to - the link I was trying to make was, as a surveyor ‑‑
Q -- who does maintenance --
Q -- do you think there is something wrong perhaps with the stack-pipe system? It could maybe be improved, for example, putting in double stack pipes for the capacity, because John Mason, who is a resident - you might know him - gave evidence that they doubled in population when the development happened, those flats, and, therefore, being on the ground floor or being on any of the floors, stacks pipes are - what I am asking: is it usual to have that many occurrences of stack pipes breaking?
A If you notice where we are coming from, the stack pipe that happen 104 wasn't a fault of the stack itself. It's just a pinhole. Probably somebody nailed something and nailed through, and went through the pipe itself. I don't know what happened but there was a - it was a tiny hole that did that. This second one, 106, my assumption was a leak from one of the - maybe the connection from the flat above, to that where your section is. Maybe there's a loose end in there where the leak is coming through. That was why we want to rectify the leak from upstairs. So, I mean, it does happen. Properties, the big properties and they buried some items within the walls and, suddenly ... to happen, we have to break through to establish where the faults are, to carry out repairs. So this is not an issue - it's not a strange issue. It's mostly what we encounter occasionally.
Q It happens.
A It happens.
Q Yes. So I think my only question was more out of interest for your expert opinion on whether you think that maybe two stack pipes could be ----
A Well, this a big size of it, pipe, it's a big size of the pipe I can take that ...
Q Was it 12 ...
A Yes, it's a big ... that can take such a number of tenants. I mean, on that ground, we have about 88 flats there - eight flats that run on this.
Q But a number of them have had stack pipes leaking in through their ceiling. Whole ceilings have come down.
A Not really the stack pipe leaking. It's sometimes the WC.
Q I have borrowed dehumidifiers from flats that have - when I have ----
A Yes, we ----
MISS BHALOO: ... let the witness finish.
MISS FLORES: Excuse me, I am questioning the witness.
A We have ----
MISS BHALOO: Let him answer.
JUDGE COWELL: We need to hear the answer.
MISS FLORES: You are very patronising, you really are. You know, I just think you should leave me alone sometimes.
JUDGE COWELL: Do not take offence, please.
MISS FLORES: Thank you.
A We have leaks in most flats, due to either carelessness of some tenants; due to either leak from sink, leak from WC, leak from wash-hand basin, leak from the bath. We have ... leaks in that sense.
Q So it is mainly the stack-pipe system I was concerned about because I wrote a letter to Chris Natt in 2005 --
Q -- and said, "Maybe you should replace it with the lead pipes again," because, you know, it happened - it has happened a couple of times to me and that is quite bad for business, as you can imagine, for ----
A I mean, this is the actual - PVC is the actual pipes to be using.
Q It is the new material.
A It is a new material. We cannot use lead pipe. Lead pipe can carry asbestos; can carry ... with it. This is the right pipes.
Q There has been problems with the sewage system. People have had sewage coming up their bath holes and what-have-you. You think then this may be an issue of overcapacity on those ...
Q Even though the population has doubled in ----
A Yes - no.
Q And the occurrences are not great enough for you to ----
A I can recollect where you are coming from about sewage coming through. Sewage comes through in the fire duct. The drainage leading to the outside, to the main street level: if they block or if there's a flood coming through on the street level, it will back surge every other item coming from the flats, every other items coming from the estate, because that is the main run on the street.
Q So the underground drainage might be ----
A Yes, that is the main run on the street, which is owned by the council.
Q So that would make it come up into the bath plugholes.
A That could affect as well. That could disrupt the flowing of any flow from any flat or any estate. Okay, that could be - that's one of the problem ----
Q It is quite a normal occurrence.
A I know there was some flat - such an event in one of the - in the estate, which we dealt with and it's to do with the blockage from the street level.
Q Yes, I am always seeing Radion Drainage vans out there.
Q So what was that last thing you just said? I missed that.
A So I said I noticed the way - the effect of drainage or back-sludging of waste from the pipe. That was due to blockage from council-owned drainage.
Q Okay, that is fine.
A Yes, okay.
Q Really, I was just asking for your opinion.
A That's fine. I'm just actually explaining what is happening to you.
Q Yes - no, I do understand. In the meantime, Mr. UK, you did call out and mark the area to the stack - to that leak. We have established that you marked the walls and you marked the ceiling.
Q And you said if it - I mean, first of all, I just want to ask you, in your own words, what was your reasoning behind that? But you have said that already, have you not?
A Yes, I did.
JUDGE COWELL: Did the colour of the leak not indicate to you that it was a wastepipe as opposed to ordinary bathwater?
A Not really, because being that the ceiling is a ply board or is ----
Q Sorry, being that what?
A The ceiling is board. It's not concrete.
Q I am sorry, being that what?
A The ceiling.
Q The ceiling?
Q Being that the ceiling, what?
A Is a board material.
Q Is a board.
A It's not concrete.
Q Material, not concrete.
A And if the leak has been going for a long time, it soak the materials and ... I mean, it's wet and that will - that can occur easily.
Q If you get a leak for a long time, it can go that colour.
A And, to be candid to you, when I was there, I never smell any bad odour, other than damp, that's what I smell.
Q "I never smelled any bad odour while I was there."
MISS FLORES: I do not know if you remember - I might need to show you some floor plans. I will just check where they are before I ... I will have to double‑check my note.
MISS BHALOO: G.1: it is in there.
MISS FLORES: No, no, no, I am just checking the floor - it is in ----
MISS BHALOO: ...
MISS FLORES: It is for 106.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes.
MISS FLORES: Anywhere will do, really.
MISS BHALOO: Tab 3.
MISS FLORES: Tab G.1, Richard.
A I don't have G.1.
MISS BHALOO: Miss Flores, is it ...
MISS FLORES: No. I just want a basic floor plan, one of the - G - C.1, 127. Okay, right, Richard, I will show you what I mean. Can you see?
MISS BHALOO: C.1?
MISS FLORES: That would be C.1, 128. You will probably recall ----
A Is it G.1 or C.1?
Q C.1, 128.
A I don't think I have C.1. Anyway ...
Q Does not matter, I will show you from here. Basically, there is the stack pipe. Do you remember me coming through that corridor there ----
JUDGE COWELL: Sorry, C.1?
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, may I get it for the witness?
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, thank you. Is it C.1?
MISS FLORES: C.1, your Honour.
JUDGE COWELL: And it is page what?
MISS FLORES: Page 1 - sorry, 218.
JUDGE COWELL: 218?
MISS FLORES: Yes.
A 128 is here.
Q 218, Richard.
Q Right, now, you know where we are on this plan, do you not? Coming through from the gallery, into the fire exit here, round to the two bathrooms, there is the leak. You do remember the way - the layout.
A I'm trying to think of the drawing. Where you're coming from?
Q You are trying to recall. Okay, let us point it as if you have forgotten.
A No, no, no, go on with the drawing. Where you coming from? Where's the exit and where's the entrance?
Q Sorry, this particular drawing is downstairs.
Q Is downstairs in 106.
Q It is in the basement level.
Q The glass bricks are here.
Q The stairs are here.
Q That is that wide wooden room with the gold lights. And there is the two bathrooms: one to the left and one is straight in front of you. If you go round that corridor, you go back out, round the corner to 1-0 --
Q -- -4, and the electricity cupboard is in between.
Q Yes? Now, we are just going to go to the place where the soil stack leaked from, which we just saw pictures of. Now, I do not know if you remember there was a little door here. The stairs go from here and it has got a nice little curvy line to show that they go here and up. Yes?
A Are you going - I'm thinking about it. I'm trying to picture it properly.
Q Yes, so they go here - they are wood.
Q They are wooden stairs with the gold lights.
Q Anyway, so they go here and up. Now, underneath the stairs, in this little alcove here, there is a door. Now, I do not know if you remember me opening that door and showing you under the stairs because, when that stack pipe is there, just leads right - sort of spreads along to underneath the base of the stairs there. Do you see what I mean?
A Truly, I can't recollect that.
Q Okay, I really just asked it out of memory because sometimes I have got quite a visual memory about things. So you do not recall.
A Yes, I can't recollect that ----
Q But, just for everybody's sake, that is the proximity of the bottom of the stairs to the stack pipe.
A To which one is that?
Q This was the smell of damp in there as well.
A Well, like I said, I can't recollect that because if I - I mean, if you have shown that to me, and I noted there was a bad smell there, I will have, I mean, I will have taken it up more than just leaving it unattended to because, I mean, the other stack pipe, I did attend to them. If there was a bad smell and you show that to me, I will have followed it up properly.
Q Except that nobody was following that up. In the end, there was this contractor called Eddie, from FWA, who I begged to take the wall down ... you know, in April. So nobody was ----
A Maybe that's when you ----
Q Do you remember saying to me, when we were in that room and you put the pencil mark there, that it would dry out?
A That's what I said. I said if that repairs had been carried out in the flat above, it will dry out, then we will do the repair work we need to do.
Q Well, you said it would dry out and it could just be repainted.
A No, no, I wouldn't say that to you: that it's just repainted.
Q Well, I asked for the MDF to be replaced and you said it would dry out.
A I wouldn't ask - when I know the boxing is wet, I wouldn't say that. I know the boxing was - the boxing of that pipe was wet. I wouldn't tell you you just paint it over.
Q When I said "open it up and replace it", which is probably why you raised the order - I mean, I am not sure but, I mean, I asked you to replace it - you said it would dry out and I should repaint it. It should be okay.
A I think we spoke at very length in a proper manner when we're discussing on every level of the repairs. We are so concerned and we're communicating our‑self. I would not tell you just paint it when it's dried out.
Q You said that you were effecting leaks - repairs to leaks upstairs and that, when you had fixed the leaks - maybe this was over the phone or something, that you said - no, in fact it was that same day. I said, "Can you repair the MDF now," because of what it looked like, and you said, "No, when I have fixed the leaks upstairs, that will dry out."
A No, maybe you didn't get me right. When I say this - I put the mark there to show if there would still be any leak coming through. Okay? Then I told you, "When we find out there's no more leak coming through, that section will be taken out and repaired."
Q Right, okay, we will agree to differ.
A Okay, that was what I will have told you then.
JUDGE COWELL: When ----
MISS FLORES: I remember what you said ----
JUDGE COWELL: Wait a moment, wait, please, I am going to make a note. When no more --
A Leaks appears.
Q -- wet coming out --
Q -- then the casing would be replaced?
Q Would be replaced. And presumably it would go without saying that the new casing could then be painted.
Q Do you remember whether you said anything?
A Well, I mean, that was what we did for the first one. That's same thing we did for the second one.
Q Painting was done in the first case, 104, so that is what would happen.
MISS FLORES: I mean, do you want me to go on with this, your Honour, or not?
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, whatever, but occasionally I have to make a note of what is said.
MISS FLORES: I mean, I just wondered because your Honour's covered quite a lot.
JUDGE COWELL: I have covered quite a lot.
MISS FLORES: And I really did it for ----
JUDGE COWELL: If you do not think you can take it any further ...
MISS FLORES: I could take it a lot further. It is just that I wondered if it was useful to your Honour.
JUDGE COWELL: The real point is whether this should have been discovered earlier and --
MISS FLORES: Is that clarified in ----
JUDGE COWELL: -- I have put - one of the questions which could well be put by you was that, surely, seeing the colour of the ceiling and of the casing, you should have assumed that it was a wastepipe. And then he answered that. I made a note of that answer.
MISS FLORES: I was going to ask. So, Richard, on that G.8 folder, 81, I mean, this is the colour. Do you think this comes from a stack - potentially - 81 of G.1 bundle, tab 10. Do you think that this comes from potentially a toilet pipe, a toilet waste?
A Like I said to you ----
A Like I said to ----
Q Sorry, just to get to the actual picture: 81 ----
A I did make mention of this.
Q I am asking your opinion on the picture, not anything else.
A Yes, it's water wet.
Q Yes, just that I am asking your opinion on the picture of no.81. Have you got to 81 yet? I think that is what your Honour wants me to establish with you - is what do you think of that picture? Do you think ----
A That is not - that is due to ----
Q Do you think that could be waste from a toilet?
A Waste? What do you mean: "waste"? Water waste ....
Q Do you think, looking at this picture ----
JUDGE COWELL: Sewage?
A Not sewage. It's water waste.
Q It is not sewage.
A No, it's not sewage, it's water waste. I'm really sure about that: it's water waste; it's not sewage. I mean, if it's sewage ----
Q Why do you say that?
A Yes, because if it's sewage then we will both have smelled the sewage and we would make reference to that. We didn't do that.
MISS FLORES: So there was the flies as well and the ...
A Flies can come in when it's damp. Fly can comes in any room if there's constant damp on it, the fly can comes in there as well. But this is - I mean, if it's waste - I drew the mark there, I drew the pencil mark there. I will have notified that, "Oh, this is smelling. It's bad."
JUDGE COWELL: Yes.
MISS FLORES: Right, what effect - it took four months for this crack to be mended. What would you say you did upstairs during that time that would have contributed either to - I mean, what did you do upstairs in the meantime?
A There were job raised on to repair the leak from the bath, leak from the WC, just to make sure we ... the tenant has reported about leak as well. We went there to repair other's leaks to eliminate ----
Q So where was the leak? Where exactly were the leaks upstairs?
A We make reference to the bath. We make reference to the ----
Q That was the bath at Flat 3, so that is 104.
A 1, 1, 1, Flat 1.
Q Sorry, there was leak from the ceiling, the bathroom ceiling, on Flat 1. It was not the leak from the bath, which would mean that it was actually Flat 7, above, that had the leak.
A There was leak from Flat 7, above, into - even on to Flat 1 as well.
JUDGE COWELL: Were any of the leaks from upstairs, any of the flats, leaks of sewage?
A No, they were - let me put it this way. If there was any leak from any flat, of sewage, the tenant would not stay in there.
MISS FLORES: Absolutely.
A They will not stay. They will make noise about it. And this I know for sure, is not sewage; it's waste - it's water damp. And, like I said earlier on, I put a mark there, I put this mark there. If there was smelling of waste, I would have taken it up from there. I wouldn't just leave it like that.
Q Just to say, Mr. Ukhueleigbe, no one is suggesting there was sewage in the upper flat. The crack was discovered on the ground floor of our shop.
Q So, therefore, if it was a stack pipe, a wastepipe, whatever it is you want to call it and - you know, I cannot convince anyone that that was excrement, but it smelled like it to me. I was there for a long time. You were, you know, probably used to these sorts of things. But what I am saying is the flat upstairs - you said you repaired some leaks.
Q Now, the only reference is to a leak in Flat 1. Why did it take three months to fix a leak in Flat 1, which turns out to be a bathroom ceiling leak which would suggest that it was Flat 7 that was leaking into Flat 1 and, therefore, had absolutely nothing to do with our ceiling on the ground floor?
A I mean, if you check the other - the job raise against Flat 1, or - you will see we raise a job 120908 to open up - that's to open up your casing. And there's other job that was raised to repair leak in the bathroom. Okay? So we - I mean, there was job raised on that.
Q The point was it was on the ceiling, Mr. UK. The leak in Flat 1 was on the bathroom ceiling; not the bath, not the toilet, not a leak coming from Flat 1. A leak coming from Flat 7, affecting the ceiling.
A That is ...
Q Well, okay, let us go over the work repair order because really I do not get what you are saying - what was being fixed upstairs that took three months before we were attended to. And why did you not know it was stack pipe leak, when, only a few months before, we had had one in the gallery?
JUDGE COWELL: Let him answer.
A The answer I would give to you ... all this while, to find the leak and if the stack pipe was wrong or faulty, I had to eliminate any leak coming from the flats above, which I did. And to ... I put a mark to see that whatever work we did upstairs ... rectified and if there's no rectify then the leak will continue and the damp will extend over the marks I put there, which never occurred. That was why I raised a job for the casing and the insulation to be renewed.
MISS FLORES: Okay, can we move on to the next incidence because I think ‑‑
A Go on.
Q -- we've stayed on this one long enough? Can we just agree to disagree, but that you for your evidence? The next incidence was the flooding at 104 Cromer Street.
Q The evidence of yourself, according to these floor plans on p.278 of claimant 1, file C.1 - sorry, C.1, p.278. Would you mind having a look at that, Richard?
A Page --? (After a pause): What page is it?
MISS BHALOO: Page 278, I think you said.
JUDGE COWELL: Page 278, it is the plan.
MISS FLORES: 278 is - it should be the plan that I drew of ...
Q Now, Richard, can you just verify for me because you have been into these flats and I was guessing at it to a certain extent, although I have been into Harvey's flat and been into Deebo's flat: is Flat 1 correct because I have just totally guessed at that?
A Flat 1 is on the side of where you put it, yes.
Q Sorry, your Honour, just for the record, that one is above - it is the whole of the above Flat 106, is it not?
Q It is the whole of above 106.
JUDGE COWELL: Flat 1 over 106-8.
MISS FLORES: Raymond lives in Flat 1, Raymond.
JUDGE COWELL: Who does?
MISS FLORES: I call him "Sammy" but it is Raymond.
A Is it Raymond that live in Flat 1?
Q Raymond lives in Flat ----
A I think it's a Asian guys that ----
Q Yes, Raymond.
A Okay ----
JUDGE COWELL: Raymond who?
MISS FLORES: His name is Raymond.
JUDGE COWELL: Lives there.
MISS FLORES: His surname is Rahman.
JUDGE COWELL: Rahman.
A I know they are Asian, but I don't know their name, like I said.
MISS FLORES: He looks like Sammy Davis Jnr., that is why I call him "Sammy".
Q So Raymond lives there with his two daughters and - three daughters now. Can I just quickly establish with you: is that ----
JUDGE COWELL: I am about to adjourn. Can we pick this up tomorrow?
MISS FLORES: Absolutely.
JUDGE COWELL: Let us come back to it tomorrow morning at half-past-ten.
MISS FLORES: Or I could say "no further questions". It is really entirely up to ...
JUDGE COWELL: It is up to you. I should explain that I am the judge. I cannot take sides.
MISS FLORES: Sure.
JUDGE COWELL: Though I am very anxious to understand what was going on.
MISS FLORES: Yes, but maybe if I could ask one more question.
JUDGE COWELL: All right, try one more.
MISS FLORES: We could let the witness go. As I said to you earlier, your Honour, I do understand what you are saying to me. It is just I thought it might - maybe you wanted me to take this further. Can I just ask you, Richard, and then you can go? Flat 3 is above the back part of the gallery.
Q It is that bit.
Q Flat 2 is Harvey at the front.
A In front of - yes.
Q The flooding occurred at the back half of the gallery.
A That was the pin - the stack pipe.
Q No, that was the flooding, where the ceiling got replaced.
A That is the front bit, that is the front bit, Flat 2.
Q No, the ceiling actually got replaced at Flat ----
Q No, Richard, I am telling you. I am not asking ----
A Yes, I'm asking ----
Q I have got photographic evidence.
A I've explained this to you. I explain to you water can leak, water can leak from, water can leak from this end.
Q Richard, please, you are digging yourself a whole here.
A No, no, no, no, no.
Q You are, I am telling you, you are digging ----
A Hold on, hold on.
Q Trust me when I tell ----
A Let me, let me, let me ----
Q Trust me when I tell you ----
A Let me explain.
Q Trust me, trust me for a second. Go to C - G.1.
A Let me ----
Q No, really, you are digging yourself a whole.
A No, let me, let me explain issues to you.
Q No, please, Richard, go to G.1.
JUDGE COWELL: I think I will deal with this tomorrow morning.
MISS FLORES: Okay then.
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, did you say 10.30?
JUDGE COWELL: Ten-thirty.
MISS FLORES: Sorry, your Honour.
MISS BHALOO: Your Honour, I will tell Mr. Ukhueleigbe that he cannot discuss his evidence.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, because you have not finished your evidence, do not talk about the case to anybody.
Q You can talk about the weather or anything else but not the case.
MISS FLORES: I do apologise, your Honour, for ...
JUDGE COWELL: That is all right, but I do remind you you are not actually - you can put things to the witness, you are not telling him. And the important thing is I want to hear what he says.
MISS FLORES: Yes, I am sorry, your Honour. I do not seem to be very much good at that.
JUDGE COWELL: I know you have not done it before.
(Adjourned until 10.30 a.m. on Thursday, 22nd July 2010)
Mr. RICHARD UKHUELEIGBE, Recalled
MS. BHALOO: Mr. Ukhueleigbe, just to remind you, you are still under oath and there will be some more questions for you.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes. We got as far as looking at C1, 278, I think.
Cross-examined by Ms. FLORES
MS. FLORES: Okay. Richard, could you look at bundle B1? That’s tab 2. Do you know Harvey in flat 2?
Q Do you know Harvey in flat 2?
A Harvey, the tenant there? I don’t know him.
Q You don’t know him.
Q So you don’t know his mother.
Q You don’t know his mother.
Q Okay. And you don’t know his social worker.
A I don’t know his social worker, but I spoke to the social worker.
Q So, if you read that statement, it says that -- that’s his mum and she is saying that he’s got carpet in his flat and it wasn’t affected at all.
Q So I suggest to you that it was flat 3 that the leak was coming from.
A Well, when I was called on Friday in regards to this incident ----
JUDGE COWELL: Sorry, which incident are we dealing with?
MS. FLORES: We are dealing with the flooding of 104.
A The flooding.
JUDGE COWELL: The flooding in June ’05.
MS. FLORES: Yes.
A June 24th, yeah.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, the 24th June flooding. Yes?
A When I was called on the Friday … I happened to -- I was on my way home.
Q Sorry, you were called on the Friday.
Q “When I was called on the Friday, on my way home …”. Yes?
A They reported about the leak. So I was trying to find ----
Q Do you remember who reported to you, who phoned you?
A The office called me.
Q The office, I see. “On my way”.
MS. FLORES: It would have been the saree shop.
A Well, I don’t know. The office called me because the saree shop didn’t have my number. And I happened to be calling the office to enquire the tenant in that place. They don’t have the tenant’s number of the flat.
JUDGE COWELL: So you did what?
A I called the office back.
Q “I called the office back”.
A Yeah, to -- just to get the telephone number of the tenant.
Q To get the telephone number of which tenant?
A The tenant of flat 2.
Q Tenant of flat 2. Who was that? Can you remember who was in flat 2?
A … Mr. Harvey.
MS. FLORES: Harvey.
A Mr. Harvey.
Q No, his name is Harvey.
Q Harvey McLean(?).
A Okay, Harvey McLean.
JUDGE COWELL: The tenant of flat 2, yes.
A I was given the telephone number of his support worker.
Q “I was given telephone number of his support worker”. Yes?
A I called her and I spoke to her.
Q A man or a woman?
A A woman, a lady.
Q Yes. You spoke to the woman.
A Yes. She told me then that Mr. Harvey is in the hospital, but she had access to go into the flat.
Q “She told me Harvey in the hospital, but she had access to the flat”.
A Yeah, ‘cause she had the key.
Q “Access to flat, she had key”. Yes?
A It was then she told me that she got into the flat and the tap was on.
MS. FLORES: But if Harvey was in the hospital how did the taps get on?
A I will explain that to you.
JUDGE COWELL: Just wait a minute. “She told me”. She told you on the phone.
MS. FLORES: Sorry, he said, “It was then she told me”. I think he is referring to a further conversation.
A Conversation …
JUDGE COWELL: Wait a minute, take it slowly.
Q I did not hear that. When you spoke to her on the phone, had you got home or were you still on your journey?
A I was on my way home.
Q You were on your way home.
Q I see. Can I just ask where is home?
A Bromley. Catford, Bromley.
Q I see. You were driving in your car.
A No, I was in public transport.
Q You were on public transport. Just a moment. “Public transport, going home to Bromley”. You eventually spoke to her and she told you she had a key.
Q Then she told you something further.
A Well, I mean ----
Q What did she tell you?
A Then she was on her way to the place, and when she got there …
Q Wait a moment. When you spoke to her, where was she?
A I don’t know where she was. I don’t know where she was. But she told me then she had a key, that she would go to the flat.
Q Yes. Is that the end of that phone call?
Q What did you ask her to do?
A I mean, I told her there was a flood from the flat. So she went.
Q How did the phone call end?
A She told me she was going to check.
Q She was going to go to the flat.
Q I see. “She told me she … go to the flat”. So you put the phone down.
Q What was your next communication with ----
A Well, after a while, I called her back.
Q Were you still on your journey?
A On my journey, yeah.
Q “After a while, I called her back”. Yes?
A And it was then she told me she found the tap running.
Q “She told me she found tap running”. Yes?
A She told she found the tap running and she put it off. So that’s ----
Q She said she had turned it off.
Q “Turned it off”. So was that the end of your communication with her?
A That was … end of communication with her, yes.
JUDGE COWELL: With her, yes.
MS. FLORES: Shall I continue?
JUDGE COWELL: Yes.
MS. FLORES: Did she say that there was water all over the floor?
A Yeah. She told me she turned the tap off and there was water. Obviously, there was water. That’s why it’s leaking from that flat.
Q Right. And what did you do when you found out there was water that night?
A Well, I was -- I didn’t go that day because there was a plumber that was booked to attend to that place from the office.
Q What day was that?
A There was a plumber that evening, on 24th.
Q The same evening.
Q Who gave the plumber access?
A I mean, I wasn’t there. I don’t know how he got in there because I told … there was a support worker already inside.
JUDGE COWELL: How did you discover that there was a plumber booked from the office?
A I didn’t discover that. I mean, it was the conversation we had when they told me that a flood was from the flat and … already booked a plumber to attend an emergency.
Q Sorry, who told you about the plumber being booked?
A From the office, from the call centre.
Q So was that the same evening that you were told by someone at the office that the plumber had been sent?
Q How were you told that, over the phone?
A On the phone, yeah.
Q Who phoned you?
A From the call centre. From our call centre.
Q Someone called.
A From the call centre.
Q The call centre phoned you or you phoned the call centre?
A Phoned -- they phoned me to notify me about the leak.
Q I’m sorry?
A They phoned to notify me of the leak because I was … covering the area then.
MS. FLORES: The place was flooded basically and the social worker ----
JUDGE COWELL: Wait a minute, sorry, there was something I missed.
MS. BHALOO: The call centre phoned him to notify him of the leak because he was the area surveyor.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, that is what he said, but that was at the beginning, was it not?
MS. BHALOO: Yes, and they told him that the plumber was booked.
MS. FLORES: Well, how was the plumber booked?
MS. BHALOO: I think that is what he said.
JUDGE COWELL: When you had your first indication that there was ----
MS. FLORES: What time was it ----
JUDGE COWELL: When you had the first indication that there was a flood, was that when you were told that the plumber had been booked?
A That’s right, yes.
Q Right at the beginning.
Q I see. “The plumber was booked from the office, I was told during the first phone call”.
MS. FLORES: So, just to get that clear, you came back from your first -- sorry, what time was it when you first heard?
A It was in the evening. I can’t exactly say what time it was.
Q But it was after work.
A It was after work, yes.
Q You knock off work about 6.00 or half 6.
A Something … that, yes.
Q So by the time you reach, from Chalk Farm to King’s Cross -- sorry, what I mean is -- you said that you did what afterwards, you went via the flat?
A No, I didn’t go to the flat, I said.
Q You didn’t go to the area at all.
A I didn’t go to the area. I was on my way home.
Q You were on your way home.
Q You just went home.
A Yeah, because on my way home they called me.
Q They called you.
Q In your first witness statement you say that you went to the saree shop.
A That was on Monday.
Q That was on Monday evening.
Q Right, okay. So who called the social worker? Where did you get the number?
A From the office.
Q So you were on your way home.
Q And then someone called you.
Q And gave you the number of the support worker.
A I asked them about, “Do you have any contact number there?”. They gave me the social worker, the support worker. So that’s when I called.
Q So at that point who had identified that it was at flat 2?
A Well … the way the -- I mean, I don’t know who reported to the call centre, but … where … said the leak is affecting. I felt the flat above that area is flat 2. That is the person I called.
Q Where was the leak affecting?
A Well, the -- I mean, they told me it’s affecting the Asian shop, so I believe it to be flat 2. Affecting Asian shop. It’s not going to be flat 3. It’s not going to be flat 1.
JUDGE COWELL: Is that the saree shop, the Asian shop?
A Saree shop, yeah.
MS. FLORES: But flat 3 does run over the saree shop as well, doesn’t it?
A No. Flat 3 is at the back.
Q Shall we have a look at the ----
A Flat 3 run over your shop, at the end of your shop.
Q Yeah, it’s not a square flat; it’s quite a long flat.
A It’s a long flat, yeah.
Q So it goes slightly over the -- it goes also over the saree shop.
A Okay. But what I did then, ‘cause I wasn’t there as a person to see, I only did my observation by what I know how the flat was.
Q So you saw the saree shop on the Friday night to assess ----
A On Monday morning.
JUDGE COWELL: No, on the Monday.
MS. FLORES: Who assessed where the leak was coming from?
A Like I said earlier on, my observation -- way I pictured the layout of the property I felt flat 2 is above saree shop. That’s where I concentrated my call on to. That’s why I calling -- I was calling flat 2. And I felt flat 3 wouldn’t be affecting it, so I called flat 2 and I was able to speak to his support worker.
Q Okay … on the Friday, you called the support worker.
Q The support worker was the person who went in there and identified -- what sort of level of flooding did she say?
A Well, she didn’t tell me … details of the -- if it’s high up, if it’s a low level. She didn’t tell me anything. She only told me the tap was running and she turned the tap off.
Q But you said a minute ago that she said Harvey was in hospital.
Q So how long do you think the flat had the taps ----
A I wouldn’t be able to know. I wouldn’t be able to know. I don’t know how long it was.
Q And who would’ve turned the taps on if he was in hospital?
A Well, later on, on that Monday, from -- the information I had was that Thames Water must have turned the taps off. They were doing some work on that area then. They must have turned the tap off probably ----
JUDGE COWELL: Who told you that?
A That was information I had … from the residents.
MS. FLORES: That was from me, wasn’t it?
A Well, you -- I don’t know. I’m not very sure who told me. I can’t say … that information I got … from ----
JUDGE COWELL: I see. “Told by the residents that Thames Water turned water off”.
A Yes, and I presume the tenant must have tried to use water and left the tap … then. So he left to the hospital, and when they put it -- turned water back on that was when the flood happened. That was ----
MS. FLORES: But we’ve established that the tenant was in hospital, so how would they have ----
Q Sorry, are you suggesting that the water was cut off for a long period of time?
A I wouldn’t know when the water was cut off. I don’t know. I don’t know when it was cut off. I don’t know when it was put on. But information I had later on was that was what happened and that must have been the result of ----
Q Yes. I phoned Thames Water and found -- well, Chantal phoned Thames Water and found out that there had been a cut-off of water in the area that night. It wasn’t specifically that block; it was in the area and it was shut off at 3.00 in the morning and it was put back on at 6.00, or something like that, 9.00 -- 12.00 to 3.00, whatever it was, but it was in the night. So you’re saying that the flood happened -- when you knew of the flood it was in the early evening.
MS. BHALOO: Your Honour, I do not think the evidence we have had so far is that it was shut off in the night. I do not know how much this matters.
JUDGE COWELL: No, I doubt if it does.
MS. FLORES: I suppose what I’m trying to say is that there was no support worker, was there, Mr. UK?
A There was support worker.
Q There wasn’t, was there?
A There was.
Q Well, have you got the name of the support worker?
A I don’t have the name of the support worker.
Q Why don’t you have the name?
A Yeah, but, like I said ----
Q It’s very important evidence. Why don’t you have the name?
A Like I said, I don’t have the name.
Q You don’t have the name.
A I don’t have the name, but I know I spoke with support worker that told me ----
Q And she didn’t turn off the taps, did she?
A Obviously, you ----
Q Because, otherwise, a ghost would have left the taps on. I mean, you just said yourself that the hospital -- that Harvey was in the hospital, didn’t you? And if you read that statement by his mother who had her son harassed by Alan Hines, the loss adjuster, you will find that Mr. Hines is trying to put liability on the tenant who’s got serious -- some mental health problems. And it is all very convenient to make up a story about a support worker turning off taps, which seems absolutely ludicrous and you know it’s not true.
A You said the man is ----
Q Well, I haven’t got any further questions for you because you’re clearly lying.
JUDGE COWELL: All right. Just let him answer.
A You said the man is not -- okay, I mean, you said he had a condition. Obviously, if person has a condition, will have a support worker. I spoke with support worker. I’m very sure I spoke with support worker, and that’s what the support worker told me. I’m not lying. I’m saying the truth of what happened that day. Whatever the mother said, I don’t know about that.
MS. FLORES: But, Richard, it’s very convenient.
A Let me finish. Let me finish.
Q It’s very convenient.
A Let me finish. Let me finish. Let me finish. Whatever … said, I don’t know about it. What I -- the conversation I had with the support worker and what she told me, that’s what I wrote. That’s what I said.
JUDGE COWELL: That is what she said.
MS. FLORES: But earlier, at the beginning, I said, “Do you know who the tenant is?”. You said no.
A I don’t know.
Q “Do you know his mother?”. You said no.
A Yes, I did.
Q Then I said, “Do you know the social worker?”. You said no.
A No, I didn’t say so.
Q And then later on ----
A I didn’t say so.
MS. FLORES: Well, look, I’m sorry, you did. I don’t have any further questions for you.
JUDGE COWELL: Thank you.
MS. BHALOO: Your Honour, no re-examination. Does your Honour have any?
JUDGE COWELL: No, thank you very much.
MS. BHALOO: Thank you. May Mr. Ukhueleigbe be released, your Honour?
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, which means you can stay or go, whichever you like.
A Thank you, sir.
(The witness withdrew)