Author with vendetta ‘faces bill of up to £1m’ after terrorising Vikings and EastEnders star in neighbour dispute

A children's author faces a hefty compensation bill after waging a campaign of harassment against her actor neighbour.

Vikings and former EastEnders star Ivan Kaye said he was forced out of his £850,000 first-floor flat by the “frighteningly angry” behaviour of writer Amanda Lees.

Ms Lees, 54, banged on the ceiling of her flat in Ravenscourt Park, west London, screamed at Mr Kaye and abused his tenants in a “vendetta”, the actor said. She also allowed her garden to grow so “monstrously out of control” that it blocked the light into his windows, he added.

Now, after Judge Richard Roberts accepted Mr Kaye’s claims, his lawyers say Ms Lees faces having to pay up to £1 million in compensation.

The judge said she should have known she was harassing her neighbour and causing him a nuisance.

Actor IvanKayeplayed roles in Vikings andEastEnders(Paul Keogh )

“I find that the aforementioned acts have caused Mr Kaye alarm and distress … and amounted to a course of conduct which amounted to harassment,” Judge Roberts said. Mr Kaye, 57, told Central London county court he knew Ms Lees had noise concerns when he bought the flat above hers in 2013 and tried organising a meeting, but she refused to open her door.

What followed was a long campaign of harassment in which she shouted and screamed at the slightest noise, “like someone was being murdered”, and complained to police when he had friends over, he told the court.

His partner Beatrix Archer said: “No matter how quietly we moved about the house, she banged, sent emails and threats, yelling constantly. Soon we spent the whole time upstairs, whispering and imprisoned.”

Ivankayepropertyneighbourdispute.jpg

The building where MrKayeowns the first-floor flat and Ms Lees lives below

Mr Kaye — King Aelle in Vikings and Dr Jonathan Leroy in EastEnders — said he resorted to “camping out” on the upper floor of his maisonette, before renting the flat to students.

But Ms Lees’s behaviour continued when they moved in, the court heard. Tenant Alexandra Skinner, 19 at the time, said it left them in tears.

“The banging and shouting continued every single day,” she told the judge. “We spent the whole time in fear and Ms Lees’s whole manner was petrifying.” Mr Kaye added: “Not only has she made my life a total misery but she has also inflicted the same misery on all the previous occupiers, my tenants, the estate agents … This has been going on for over 10 years.”

Ms Lees, who wrote the Kumari trilogy of teen novels, was not legally represented and did not give evidence at the hearing of the civil harassment and nuisance claims.

Ruling on the case, Judge Roberts said Mr Kaye did “his level best to get along” with Ms Lees. The judge accepted she “would bang on the ceiling and shout” despite the fact Mr Kaye rarely had visitors and “did not make any unreasonable noise” if he did. “I accept his evidence that this banging and shouting occurred on a regular basis and that he stayed in his bedroom … as he was frightened to move around his own house.”

The judge concluded Ms Lees’s plants were “unreasonably overgrown” and her failure to remedy this “amounts to a nuisance”.

He issued an injunction banning her from threatening or intimidating Mr Kaye, his tenants and visitors, communicating directly with them, banging, shouting or screaming at those above, and obstructing them in accessing or leaving the flat.

The compensation will be decided at a later hearing. Mr Kaye’s lawyers say it could be as much as £1 million, as he claims his flat is “worthless”.

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standard.co.uk
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