A Wokingham care home is suing an elderly solicitor and his family for trespass, a court heard. 

Wild Acres Rest Home Ltd is seeking a possession order against Abdul, Shafeeka and Sumaiya Bakhsh, a judge was told.

The defendant’s are intending to counter-claim, the court heard, but their previous claims for harassment and fraud - amounting to nearly £2million - were struck out.

Abdul Bakhsh appeared in Reading County Court on Tuesday to ask for more time to change the defence he wanted to rely on.

A barrister, Marc Brittain, told the court he had agreed to accompany Mr Bakhsh at the hearing, though he had not yet been formally instructed as his lawyer.

Tim Hammond, for the care home, pointed out the defendant had received the claim in December last year and had since made four different applications for extensions of time. 

Mr Hammond argued costs should be awarded to Wild Acres for all the work they had done on the case so far, saying Mr Bakhsh’s conduct ’has been pretty disruptive and caused a six-month delay and necessitated a hearing where one would not have been needed’.

The claimant argued Mr Bakhsh had used four different legal teams during the course of the proceedings, including RM Legal and Kinglsey Napley.

Hammond also argued Mr Bakhsh was not a typical litigant in person, pointing out: ‘He is a solicitor, he is someone with litigation experience. He knows what he is doing.’

Mr Brittain suggested that just because Mr Bakhsh was a solicitor should not necessarily mean he should be treated different to the average litigant in person.

‘Some solicitors, with a little knowledge of litigation experience are more dangerous than lay-clients themselves’, he pointed out.

Judge Talbot-Ponsonby, sitting at Reading County Court, ruled costs should be awarded against Mr Bakhsh on an indemnity basis. 

‘There have been numerous applications to extend the time for this and not only that but there have been numerous changes of legal advisor for the defendants, often at last notice’, the judge said.

‘I do think that the number of times in which the defendants legal advisors have changed so that the claimants had to start making arrangements all over again, with new legal advisors, is out of the norm and sufficiently out of the norm and unreasonable to make costs on the indemnity basis.’

But the judge said Mr Bakhsh’s family members, who were not present in court, should not face costs. “It appears to me the first defendant is principally running the defence and counter-claim”.

The judge said the total costs came to £11,039.84 and ordered Bakhsh to pay within 14 days. A case management conference in the possession claim and counter-claim was listed for August 1.