When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom loses legal battle over £1.1m Hamble house
3:37pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in News
An internet entrepreneur today lost a High Court fight over a £1.1 million house overlooking a Hampshire marina.
Niklas Zennstrom sued after claiming that a ''contemporary Bauhaus-style'' house he bought from Helen Moseley and Deborah Wilks, in Hamble, was ''structurally unsafe''.
But Mr Zennstrom - a co-founder of communication service Skype - failed to prove that the couple owed him a duty under the Defective Premises Act.
A High Court judge said Mr Zennstrom had ''failed to prove his case'' and concluded that neither Ms Moseley nor Ms Wilks had been aware of any significant construction defects.
Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart said Mr Zennstrom's case had not looked promising from the start.
The judge was told - at a High Court hearing in London - that the couple had re-built the house, after buying it for £360,000 in 2004, then sold it to Mr Zennstrom for £1.1 million in 2009.
He said the evidence pointed ''overwhelmingly'' to the conclusion that Ms Moseley and Ms Wilks had created their ''dream home'' and did intend to sell when they embarked on a re-building project.
The couple - who celebrated a civil partnership in 2008 - said afterwards that they were relieved and added that the litigation had left them ''physically and mentally'' drained.