Property tycoons Nick and Christian Candy were brought to court today over claims they threatened a businessman over a loan deal gone awry.
Entrepreneur Mark Holyoake, who is known for the now collapsed British Seafood importing business, is suing the brothers for £132m in damages in London's High Court.
Holyoake, a former long-time friend of Nick Candy, was handed a £12m loan in October 2012 by a company linked to the brothers to redevelop Grosvenor Gardens House into high-end residential property.
However, the deal soon turned sour, with Holyoake claiming the Candys mislead him on the terms of the loan and then subjected him to, according to his lawyer's opening argument, "a long-running, highly unpleasant and malicious campaign of threats, abuse, intimidation and coercion directed at himself and his family" including Holyoake's pregnant wife and unborn child.
The businessman is now seeking to claim back the £37m he forked out for the initial loan, £17m of costs he claims arose from the Candys' actions and the loss of profit from having to sell the Grosvenor property in February 2014, before he had the chance to finish redeveloping it.
A statement issued on behalf of the Candy brothers read: "Holyoake's claims are denied in their entirety. These matters should, and will be determined on the evidence at trial by the judge."
The trial, which is expected to last around seven weeks, continues.