Mooning pensioner gets day of reckoning

Harry Singer named a vexatious litigant after war with all his neighbours


A pensioner convicted of mooning at a neighbour has been labelled a "vexatious litigant" in the High Court following a long-running dispute with his other neighbours.

Harry Singer and his wife, June, regularly clashed with fellow residents over charges imposed by a management company at the block of flats which is home to dozens of Jewish pensioners.

The case escalated so substantially after dozens of hearings that the Attorney General applied for the order.

The verdict bars the couple from bringing civil or criminal proceedings against fellow residents without the permission of the High Court.

The 28-flat Hartsbourne Park development in Bushey, Hertfordshire, is populated entirely by Jewish pensioners. The Royal Courts of Justice heard on Tuesday that Mr Singer first disputed the management charges on his wife's behalf in 2003.

The arguments spiralled out of control, with Mr Singer taking more than 30 unsuccessful actions against neighbours and the management company. Cases have appeared at criminal and civil courts and in tribunals. On one occasion Mr Singer failed in an attempt to sue a police officer for unlawful arrest.

He has also been prosecuted. He was given a restraining order after being convicted of harassing a director of the management company. Mr Singer was found to have "mooned" at the man after complaining about mismanagement.

The whole case is designed to make out I am the most pernicious man under the sun. I'm not.

Harry Singer

Mr Singer, who is in his mid-70s, told the court that he had only intended to act in the "best interests" of his wife and accused the company, Bushey Management Limited, of pursuing false claims against her.

He said: "The whole case is designed to denigrate me and make out I am the most pernicious man under the sun. I'm not. I do not like my wife being taken for a ride financially. I've had enough of all this."

Mr Singer said he was prepared for an order to be granted because he had been arrested eight times and now wanted the "nightmare" to end.

His wife broke down and wept as she claimed neighbours had called the police to complain about noise levels when her daughter screamed in pain shortly before dying of brain cancer.

Mrs Singer said: "I do not know a lot about legal things, but what I do know is that these people have been so nasty.

"My husband has only tried to look after me. I have a heart problem, I have had two strokes, and I have cancer. I have had two years of hell. But they have accused us of the most ridiculous things."

Neighbours had claimed the couple were noisy, left rubbish in communal areas, revved their car at the gates and slammed doors, Mrs Singer said.

"They have been out to get us in every single way. They should be ashamed of themselves. All my husband has tried to do is save money for all the residents. Some of the neighbours are so stupid."

Mr Justice Cranson said he was convinced Mr Singer had "persistently instigated vexatious proceedings which rarely had any basis in law".

"His litigious behaviour has shown no signs of abating. The litigious activity pre-dated the trauma of the last two years."

Granting the order, Lord Justice Toulson concluded: "This is not a punishment and will not stop the Singers from bringing proper applications, but they will need to get the permission of the High Court.

"Life has been cruel to Mrs Singer in many ways and it is rather touching in the way she has relied on Mr Singer, trusting him to do what was right, wise and sensible. However well-motivated he may be in trying to protect her interests, he has not, in many cases, been right."

Around a dozen of the Singers' neighbours were in court to witness what one described as Mr Singer's "day of reckoning".

    Last updated: 1:00pm, January 26 2012