25 April 2008

David Irving and the bed & breakfast denier

Given his recent run you would have thought that David Irving would think twice before launching headlong into another court case. His recent form is, let’s say, has been pretty dire: He was declared bankrupt in 2002 after losing a high profile libel case against Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books (oh dear what a shame...); in 2006 he was sentenced to three years of soap dropping avoidance by an Austrian court/ His latest nemesis is Jennie Allen who runs a B&B in Kew.

Irving had booked a two-week stay last July at Mrs Allen's bed and breakfast so he could visit the nearby National Archives in Kew. But, within four days of his arrival at the £300-a-week guest house, relations between the researcher and his host deteriorated dramatically. According to court documents Mrs Allen believed Mr Irving was unjustifiably moody throughout his stay, unsettling her other guests and behaving rudely towards her. In her statement to the court, she alleged that the scholar said "get out of my sight you evil witch" during a row over his conduct.

Mr Irving "strenuously denied" making the remark or being guilty of any "abusive or intimidating behaviour" towards the other guests at Melbury. He said in his statement of claim to the court that he had only two brief conversations with those in the B&B and spent most of the time in his room or at the National Archives.

The saga came to a head on 4 July last year when Mrs Allen said that, after repeated refusals by Mr Irving to accept her request to leave, she was forced to call police to ask him to end his stay. The historian claimed his landlady only cooled towards him after her solicitor sent her a copy of his Wikipedia entry detailing his views and controversies. Mrs Allen, who emphasised she has never before clashed with a guest and has a long list of repeat visitors to her B&B, denied the claim. Mr Irving said he agreed to leave within two hours of the arrival of the two officers, packing his belongings shortly. He added: "I remarked in a conversational tone that no doubt we would next meet in court."

The judge dismissed his claim for £2,000 in damages for breach of contract after finding that diverging interpretations by Mr Irving and his landlady of her terms and conditions meant she had been within her rights to ask him to leave. He was ordered to pay Mrs Allen £60 towards her costs and her bus fare to the court.

He is hoping to change his luck with a pending lawsuit against Exxonmobil. He will be claiming that the advertising slogan “Put a tiger in your tank” is a gross misrepresentation given that Esso stations only sell petrol.


James Higham said...

get out of my sight you evil witch

I don't want to defend a holocaust denier but Jams, do we really know what she does after dark?

jams o donnell said...

Can't be that bad compared to Irving James!

Roland Dodds said...

OT - Tag, you’re it.