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Beckhams lose fight over snooping payout
10/10/07
THE Beckhams’ attempt to make two photographers pay £40,000 for trespassing has been thrown out of court.

It is the latest blow for David and Victoria, who face being told to pull down £1.5million of improvements at the French Riviera mansion as they do not have planning permission.

Even the prosecutor acting for the Beckhams in court in Draguignan called their demand for cash from the paparazzi "indecent".

French snappers Philippe Bryzak and Francois Glories were caught snooping at the couple’s 19th Century estate in the village of Bargemon.

They claimed they had not climbed any fences and did not take any pictures. The court heard that the Beckhams had initially said they were not seeking compensation and only wanted their privacy protected. But they later wrote claiming damages.

"You’d have thought the Beckhams had enough money," said Glories’ lawyer Jean-Michel Karcenty.

Two days after trespassing, Glories was thrown into the sea by bodyguard Stephen Morris while trying to take pictures of David on the Cote d’Azur, said Mr Karcenty. Morris was later ordered to pay £6,000 damages to Glories.

Mr Karcenty added: "We believe it was this that persuaded the Beckhams to pursue my client for what had happened earlier at their home."

Prosecutor Sophie Selosse then said: "These demands are indecent. When you are Mr and Mrs Beckham, this is part of the job."

She said she considered the charge so trivial she would only have asked for £35 each in suspended damages, if the judge found for the Beckhams.

Pascale Oualid, for Bryzac, said the Beckhams were trying to keep out snoopers because of unauthorised building.

Draguignan council is pursuing the couple for spending £1.5million enlarging their pool and building a luxury pool house in their historic listed garden at their £3million home.

A council spokesman said yesterday: "Unless they can prove that they obtained planning permission, which they clearly did not, they will be ordered to remove any buildings and restore the property to its original state."
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