Billionaire property developers Nick and Christian Candy were cleared on Thursday of allegations they extorted money from a former business associate, ending a colourful and acrimonious High Court battle.
Businessman Mark Holyoake had sued the Candy brothers for £132m, alleging that they had threatened him and his family to extort £37m in repayments on an original £12m loan.
But on Thursday, Mr Justice Nugee said he had found none of Mr Holyoake’s claims to be true, and that there had been no undue duress, influence, intimidation or unlawful interference with economic interests.
The Telegraph reports that Holyoake has vowed to appeal the judgment that dismissed his claims.
Holyoake said he was “in a state of disbelief” over the outcome of the case, heard in the High Court earlier this year, in which a number of sensational claims about alleged harassment and intimidation were aired.
Handing down a judgment on Thursday, Mr Justice Nugee said the brothers had not been guilty of the behaviour of which Mr Holyoake accused them, including allegations that Christian Candy threatened Mr Holyoake’s wife while she was pregnant.
The Guardian, the Telegraph and the Times, in one of its four articles on the court case, quoted Mr Justice Nugee who said: “None of the protagonists emerge from this trial with great credit.”
The brothers were cleared of all charges against them, but each of the parties “has been shown to have been willing to lie when they consider their commercial interests justify them doing so” Mr Justice Nugee added.
The Times article adds that the Candy brothers’ controversial tax arrangements have been questioned by a High Court judge who branded one of the billionaire property developers a liar but found in their favour in a £132 million dispute.
The Times also separately looks at the cost of the case to the friendship of Nick Candy and former university housemate Holyoake; how the Candy brothers have made their billions, and lastly reviews the case that it describes as a “story of blackmail and threats” which “reads like an airport thriller”.