Friday, 10 July 2015

Billionaire's Wife Cleared Of 'Keying' Neighbour's Bentley In Parking Dispute

Guatam & Stephanie Thapar
 The case against a billionaire's wife, accused of 'keying' a wealthy neighbour's £120,000 Bentley behind her £21m Knightsbridge home during a 'parking rage' incident, has been dropped.

Mother-of-two Stephanie Thapar, 50, of Cadogan Place was charged with causing £4,153.46 worth of criminal damage to the two-door black 4-litre Continental GT Coupe V8 belonging to Michael Connor in Cadogan Lane mews on January 22.

She was due to stand trial yesterday at City of London Magistrates Court, but the Crown Prosecution Service discontinued proceedings the day before.

She is the second wife of Indian-born Gautam Thapar, 54, an engineering and paper entrepreneur, who founded the Avantha Group and has an estimated net worth of £1.0 billion.

German-born Mrs Thapar resides in a five-bedroom, five-bathroom house, which has an integral lift, private two-car mews garage to the rear and has previously been advertised for rent at £56,333 per month.

She pleaded not guilty to the charge when she initially appeared on March 9 at Hammersmith Magistrates Court, denying she touched the vehicle.

Michael Connor's Bentley
Prosecutor Mr. Tom Gill told the court it was 7pm when Mr. Connor looked out of the window of his home after hearing Mrs Thapar sound her horn as she tried to negotiate past his parked Bentley and enter her garage.

"Mr. Connor saw her reversing into her garage and she then got out of her vehicle, exited the garage and placed some rubbish bags adjacent to the complainant's vehicle.

"The defendant went back inside her garage and on this occasion when she exited her garage, walked to the rear of the Bentley and scratched it five or six times with an unknown small object."

When he inspected his vehicle Mr. Connor found "deep scratches in the paintwork" and called police, who ascertained the damage was recent.

"The defendant was arrested an interviewed and completely denied the offence," said Mr. Gill.

In 2008 Mr. Thapar won Earnst & Young's 'Entrepreneur of the Year Award' for manufacturing and in 2013 King's College conferred an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his "exceptional achievements in the fields of industry and philanthropy.'

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