Golders Green spat over football kicked over fence leads to £20,000 bill

Chaim Adler was sued after attempting to retreive his son’s ball


Esther and Zavy Adler and their son Chaim outside Mayor and City County Court (Picture: Champion News)

A Jewish father who attempted to force his way into his neighbour’s home to retrieve his son’s football could be left with a bill of almost £20,000 after being sued.

Golders Green resident Chaim Adler, 35, stormed into Warren Bergson’s garden to reclaim the ball while “snarling,” before returning the next day and attempting to push his way into the flat.

Bergson and his wife, Dr Edel McAndrew-Bergson, both 58, then took Adler to court over claims of trespass and harassment. 

The dispute is said to have begun when the couple moved to London and rented a one-bedroom flat next door to the Adler family.

The property, where Chaim grew up, has been owned by his parents, Zavy, 73, and Esther Adler, 69, for over 40 years.

In 2017, water overflowed from a paddling pool into the Bergson’s garden from the Adlers.

It was this, the Bergsons claimed, that led to an initial confrontation with Zavy.

Following this, Warren Bergson told the court, a football began to “crash” frequently against the fence between their gardens, causing such disruption that they were driven out of their homes to hide out at the British Library.

Tension between the two families were in part driven by the Bergsons’ desire for peace and quiet, and the Adlers’ wish to host celebrations for Jewish festivals.

In May 2018, the row escalated when Chaim Adler’s son kicked his football into the Bergsons’ garden.

McAndrew-Bergson, said to have been driven to the end of her tether, grabbed it and threw it into another neighbour’s property.

Warren Bergson later took the ball and brought it into his flat to prevent it from being kicked against his fence.

Chaim Adler, they said, then entered their garden with a “small army” of relatives.

He had decided to use the Bergsons as his “evening entertainment,” they added.

The couple claimed the fire alarm company director later entered their garden again and began “baring his teeth and growling" and he attempted to force his way into their property.

McAndrew-Bergson said her husband was surrounded by Adler family members at one point over the weekend, with Chaim kicking his leg into the air and shouting “here, here”.

This evidence, the judge said, was “haunting”.

Chaim Adler told the court his son had been reduced to tears when his ball was taken, and that he was only attempting to protect him, and that he had merely had a “back and forth” with Warren Bergson.

Speaking at Mayors and City County Court, Judge Stephen Hellman said: “Chaim Adler's behaviour was aggressive, humiliating and intimidating. This behaviour goes beyond that which merely causes upset.”

He added: “He was angry because they had twice reduced his eight-year-old son to tears… The depth of his anger came across very clearly when he was giving evidence.”

While both incidents were provoked to some degree, Chaim Adler had trespassed with “at least part of his body”.

"I accept he was angry because they had upset his son, but he has not shown me that his course of conduct was reasonable and I am satisfied that it was not,” Judge Hellman said. 

He ordered Adler to pay £8,800 compensation to McAndrew-Bergson and another £11,000 to the estate of her husband, who has since died.

The families will return to court at a later date for a decision on who will pay the legal costs.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive