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By Graeme Stenson

Jun 25th, 2015

Village Hall Fights False Claim for Compensation over Wedding Booking

Members of a village hall committee turned detective to fight a claim for compensation that would have forced the closure of the much-loved community facility.

They found photographs on Facebook that proved a man’s wedding had gone ahead when he claimed he would have to cancel it following a mix-up with a booking at Claypole Village Hall.

The man had started a claim for compensation for up to £8,000 which would have crippled the village hall’s finances. But he withdrew his action at the last minute when the committee proved his wedding had gone ahead.

The saga started when the groom-to-be claimed he had booked Claypole Village Hall for his wedding reception in August 2014. The village hall had no record of the booking which the man said had been made in September 2013.

The man told the village hall committee that he was going to have to cancel his wedding as a result of the mix-up and started the claim for compensation.

However, with the support of Graeme Stenson of Langleys Solicitors, Lincoln, the committee was able to prove that the wedding reception went ahead at an alternative venue.

Photographs of the occasion posted on Facebook proved vital to the case and the man withdrew his claim just before the case was due to be heard by the Small Claims Court.

Dave Coxe, treasurer for Claypole Village Hall, said: “We didn’t at any point admit liability and were able to provide the evidence against the claims he was making. Had the claim been successful, it would have rendered the village hall insolvent and we would have had to close what is a very valuable community facility used by a lot of local people.

“The whole episode was very alien to us and we can’t thank Graeme and Langleys enough for their support.”

Graeme, a dispute resolution partner at Langleys, provided his legal advice through Business in the Community’s ProHelp scheme in which businesses offer their services for free to support community organisations.

Graeme said: “It was a case of giving the village hall members a robust strategy to find the evidence to dispute the man’s claims. They were able to stand up for what’s right and force the man to abandon his spurious claim.”

Claypole Village Hall is an early 20th century arts and crafts style building, gifted to the citizens of Claypole by local benefactor Harry Coulby.

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