38. 2004 – Statement of Claim

Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be safe from the reach of harm.

On 8 April 2004 Amir Bodenstein, a former tenant at 39 Glebe Point Road which was owned by Mr Voukelatos, noticed that work was being carried out in the premises.

As he was still legally entitled to enter the premises, he went in to see if the problem with the wall and the other structural problems were being rectified.

There he encountered Greg Barnes, Voukelatos’s tradesman, who presented himself as a contractor for the Sydney City Council, and another person.

Those two contacted the police and asked them to prevent Bodenstein’s entry and they also called the fire brigade to the address.

The police came and interviewed Bodenstein and a friend of his who was accompanying him. The latter produced a document from the Land Titles Office stating that Bodenstein held a lease valid until 2007. The police concluded that Bodenstein’s eviction was “not applicable”.

On 15 April the police further found that Bodenstein rightly had access to 39 Glebe Point Road until the afternoon of that day when an updated document arrived from the Department of Lands stating that he was no longer on the lease.

On 23 November Bodenstein received a complaint through the Glebe Police Station and a summons to appear at Balmain Local Court for the hearing of an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against him. On 10 December the Court granted Mr Voukelatos, the complainant, and his family an AVO against Bodenstein for twelve months.

Voukelatos had claimed that, following the lock out of his former tenant, Amir Bodenstein, from 39 Glebe Point Road, the latter had made harassing phone calls and abused him. These, according to Voukelatos, had started in June 2003 and continued intermittently until November 2004.

In response, Bodenstein argued that until 25 May 2004 he did not know Voukelatos’s address or phone number and that he had only obtained that information on that date following a successful Freedom of Information application.

Bodenstein noted that harassment was not mentioned in the police report nor (contrary to claims that Mrs Voukelatos had reported the “trespass” to the police) was Mrs Voukelatos’s name.

Bodenstein admitted that he had faxed Voukelatos and his lawyer on 21 September 2004.

Replying to a question by the judge at Balmain Local Court, Bodenstein said words to the effect “I sent Mr. Voukelatos three faxes, I took pictures of the premises and he appears in one picture, and I said to Mr. Voukelatos that he was a crook”.

1. Police and fire brigade
2. Police report
3. Lawful access
4. Apprehended violence order
5. Statement of claim

1. Police and fire brigade

On 8 April 2004, I (Amir Bodenstein) noticed that some work was being carried out in the premises and because I was still lawfully entitled to enter the premises, I wanted to see if maybe finally they were willing to rectify the problem with the wall.

This was the  first  time that I attempted to enter the premises since Mr. Voukelatos changed the lock of the front door.

Inside I saw Mr. Voukelatos’s tradesperson Greg Barnes, who presented himself as a council contractor, and another worker.

At that stage I wanted  Sydney Council officials officers to inspect the premises as I had concerns about the solutions for the structural problems that were advised by Mr. Johnston but they requested the police prevent my entry to the premises and also called the fire brigade. (Ex. 1-10, p 406-415).       

2. Police report

On 8 April 2004, my eviction was found to be “not applicable”, Event No. 20040444  (Ex. JA 1-3, p 498-500).

This event bears out my legal right to enter the premises.

Mr. Voukelatos’s tradesmen told the police that Sydney City Council had contracted them.`

“Who has been contracted by City of Sydney Council to secure the structure’s damage”

“Police have spoken with POI 1 (myself) and POI 2 (a friend of mine) who stated that there is a current Lease in place and therefore will not and are not required to leave the premises. POI 1 has produced a document from the Land Titles office stating that the Lease he holds on the premises is current until 2007. Police have spoken with the Land Titles Office who has confirmed that the Lease held by POI 1 of the premises is current and therefore his requested eviction by POI 3 is not applicable.”           

3. Lawful access

On 15 April 2004, I (Amir Bodenstein) rightly had access to the property – Event No. 20657449 (Ex. JB 1-2, p 501-502).

“Ongoing dispute between the POI – being a tenant who was evicted last June – and the Informant who is renovating the property on behalf of the Sydney City Council.”

“The POI rightly had access to the property until PM when he was given an updated document from the Department of Lands stating that he was no longer on the Lease.”

4. Apprehended violence order

On 23 November 2004, I received through Glebe Police Station a complaint and a summons to appear at Balmain Local Court for the hearing of an application for an AVO against me.

On 10 December 2004, the local court granted Mr. Voukelatos and his family an AVO against me (Amir Bodenstein) for twelve months. (Ex. EO 1, EP 1,EP 1,p 214-216).

In the complaint Mr. Voukelatos requested an AVO to protect him, his wife and his children from me.

Mr. Voukelatos declared:

“The complainant leased a commercial property, located in Glebe, to Mr. Bodenstein for a period of 17 months… Mr. Bodenstein was locked out of the property in June 2003”.

“Since that time (June 2003) Mr. Voukelatos has been the victim of harassing telephone calls to his home telephone number and abuse whenever Mr. Voukelatos has seen him enter the commercial property. The harassment continued until March 2004, when the complainant traveled overseas ”

“The harassing telephone calls continued while he was away culminating in the complainant’s wife reporting the incident to the Police – vide Event Nos 20657449 on 15th April 2004 & 20186275 on 19th April 2004.”

“The calls stopped and recently started up again on his return in September 2004. In September 2004 the complainant received a telephone call during this time when Mr. Bodenstein said, “if you don’t talk to me I will get you. You will see what will happen to you.”

“On 11/11/04 at approximately 4pm the complainant entered the Glebe property and Mr. Bodenstein who works next door yelled out to him “You are a crook. I will see you in court. I’m going to put a caveat on your property.”

In response I (Amir Bodenstein) say this:

Until May 2004 I did not know that Mr. Voukelatos resided in Sydney or his telephone number. (Ex. HI 1, p 405).

On 25 May 2004, I received under my request of Freedom of Information from Sydney City Council a photocopy of a fax that was sent from the building service and planning policy with Mr. Voukelatos regarding rectification details. On that document was written Mr. Voukelatos’s phone number and address and I did not have it before I received the document.

From the time I entered the Lease till June 2004 I didn’t even know Mr. Voukelatos had come back to live in Australia and no longer resided at his hotel in Lefka Island, Greece.

There is no mention of harassment in the police report because it did not occur. (Ex. JA JB, JC p 498-503).

These allegations that Mr. Voukelatos’s wife (Joint Defendant) had reported the incident to the police are not born out in any of the police reports, which do not mention her name at all. In fact those police events reports dealt only with Mr. Voukelatos’s lawyer and tradesmen in their attempts to prevent my entry to the premises site.

After I had noticed that someone had entered the site, I called for the first time to the Defendant’s home in Sydney.

In this call I only succeeded to tell Mr. Voukelatos “if you  won’t talk with me, it doesn’t mean that I will disappear”. That phone call lasted less than 20 seconds as Mr. Voukelatos hung up the phone.

On 21 September 2004 I sent a fax to Mr. Voukelatos and his lawyer, Mr. Casimatis, concerning the matter. (Ex. Ek 1p 210).

At the listing of the AVO summons, Mr. Voukelatos did not have witnesses and he claimed that I had bombarded him with faxes, shouted at him that he is a crook and took pictures of him.  

As Mr. Voukelatos did not have questions for me, the Judge questioned me and I said words to the effect of “I sent Mr. Voukelatos three faxes, I took pictures of the premises and he appears in one picture, and  I said to Mr. Voukelatos that he was a crook”.

As the Judge realized after quite a while that we had been summonsed for listing and not for the hearing, he then were asked if we are willing to continue to the hearing.

5. Statement of claim