Geoff Day’s 51st TRNC court appearance – “the house with built-in leaks”

As usual, the 51st appearance at Girne District Court of Geoff Day, due to start at 10.30 a.m., started promptly at 11.35 a.m.

Before I go into the gripping details of today’s events, I must first apologise. I misinformed you concerning the number of pieces of wood Geoff is alleged to have stolen; it is in fact 39, not 27 as I originally told you. I must put a new battery in my hearing aid, that or those naughty pieces of wood have been breeding in the evidence room. The principle is still the same as in my article.

Geoff was in the witness stand again and was being cross examined by the Prosecutor. Much of the start of the cross examination was visiting old ground. Geoff admitted that much of the initial part of the purchase was handled by Unwins Estate Agents and he went over yet again the dates of the signing of the Contract and covered the occasions when Geoff visited the site and Recaioglu office to monitor progress. Geoff admitted that initially relations between the builder and himself were cordial. Geoff admitted that whenever he met Ahmet Recaioglu he was very hospitable, as Geoff pointed out, why wouldn’t he be, Geoff was giving him money which by Recaioglu’s own admission he was desperate for.

Geoff when questioned admitted to visiting many of the builder’s other sites and being told by the purchasers there that they did not have their deeds; despite having paid ahead of schedule because Recaiouglu was in financial difficulties. All the people Geoff spoke to on these sites had a very low opinion of Recaioglu.

The prosecutor produced two emails sent to Geoff by Recaioglu with accompanying pictures, both basically updating Geoff on the progress of the villa. One email was dated 02/12/05 and the second 20/02/06. The Prosecutor was trying to make much of the wording, but as Geoff expertly pointed out, the pictures told the story, the villa wasn’t finished, bearing in mind that the Contract finish date was Nov 2005 and even with the 3 months grace period, which according to the Contract should have been agreed to in writing by Geoff and wasn’t, would take us into Feb 2006. Both sets of photos proved Breach of Contract and for the life of me, I could not understand why the prosecutor introduced evidence which basically damaged his own case. Then all became clear, his cunning plan was to lull Geoff into a false sense of security and with a few clever questions, trick him into lying. Good plan if you are dealing with someone who is lying, however Geoff is not. First he suggested that if Geoff thought he was entitled to £500 late completion penalty then why hadn’t he ask for it after the first month. Yeh, you could see Recaioglu’s response, ‘of course, Geoff here’s £500 and while we’re at it here’s another £500 because I’ll still be late next month’.

Geoff also had the opportunity to point out that the Contract promised the title deed within 25 months of signing the Contract; at the 25 month stage the property wasn’t finished, and still isn’t. Nor was permission to obtain the deeds available.

The Prosecutor then asked Geoff to itemise all the things that he considered unfinished. Geoff did not have his list with him but the prosecutor persisted and so did the judge. The defence advocate was very vociferous in her objection to this but the judge ruled in favour of the prosecutor. Even I can remember most of it; it was mentioned so recently in court so I won’t bore you with it again. The prosecutor then went into the issue of electricity and stated that when Geoff moved into his home the electric authority had checked the supply and had confirmed that he had a full supply. He then asked Geoff if this were true. Geoff said no. Now Mr. Prosecutor went into a cross between Perry Mason and Rumpole of the Bailey mode, more a Perry Rumpole. He asked Geoff what happened when he switched the light on, Geoff said sometimes it came on, he asked what happened when Geoff switched the fridge on, Geoff said they didn’t have a fridge when they first moved in, well then what happened when Geoff switched the kettle on, Geoff  replied, ‘it blew up’.

Eventually it dawned on Perry that maybe they didn’t have a full supply and Geoff explained to him.. that by Recaioglu’s own admission they had an illegal temporary supply and in fact, for that reason it was disconnected in 2008. Wisely (though not very wisely) Perry changed tack. Do you have windows he asked? Geoff confirmed that indeed he did, but they leaked. Did Geoff have a roof, Perry then asked? Geoff said that he would not describe it as such, it was more an assortment of tiles placed on top of the house with built-in leaks. Sounds a bit like a lid doesn’t it?

By now the tension was mounting, we could all tell Perry was about to go for the jugular. He asked a few more questions about the basic component that make up a house and then he said, ‘so you admit you have a house?’ How the cheerleaders behind me didn’t fall off their benches, I really do not know. Perry, where do you think Geoff and Mary have been living for the last few years? Poor Perry, next time you try to play with words make sure you choose a less able opponent than Geoff. The point Perry laboured was that all the things that Geoff complained about were actuallythere, so the house is complete.

The house is not complete and, in anyone’s book, windows that leak and have not been finished properly are not finished. The same applies to everything that was mentioned and the myriad of things Geoff did not mention because as he said,(a) he is not qualified and (b) he couldn’t name the whole list from memory. Completion means complete. Geoff and Mary’s home is not.

The prosecutor then went back to the 4th January 2006 when Geoff received word in England from Recaioglu that his home was finished and Recaioglu demanded the final payment. Geoff flew out immediately to find that it was far from finished. There were neither windows, doors nor any on site and anyway Geoff had been told previously that there had been no-one working on the site for three months. All he discovered was an unfinished house on a building site. Out came more pictures but Geoff disposed of the questions on these in short order. Interestingly, one of the pictures wasn’t even of Geoff’s house.

Today, they brought some of the alleged stolen items into the court and there staring at me out of the corner of a bag was Malcolm the Mastik Gun and I swear he winked at me. I do hope they treat him well.

Appearance number 52 tomorrow, Tuesday 10.30 a.m.

You Couldn’t Make It Up.

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