Astonishing moment financier threatens to murder neighbour's pet

Astonishing moment financier threatens to murder neighbour's pet

11/07/2023

Astonishing moment financier threatens to murder neighbour’s pet in furious bust-up over washing machine cupboard between their Knightsbridge homes

This is the astonishing moment a financier threatens to murder his neighbour’s cat and brands him a ‘nasty little man’ in a furious bust-up over a tiny washing machine cupboard in exclusive Knightsbridge.  

Anthony Knight, 72, branded Dr Lydumil Zyapkov a ‘nasty little man’ and warned his neighbour not to let his cat Bandit into the shared outside space otherwise ‘I will kill it’, during months of bad-tempered exchanges between the residents of Ennismore Gardens Mews.

A judge ordered the cupboard be returned to Mr Knight and ordered neighbour Dr Zyapkov to pay legal costs of over £100,000.

But on Monday Mr Knight claimed he had tried – and failed – to reason with the couple over ownership of the tiny wall space, which he claims is valued at up to £75,000.

Speaking outside his home in the one of the most exclusive streets in London, the retired financier told MailOnline: ‘My wife and I have lived here for 30 years. I get on with almost all my neighbours. We all want to live a quiet life.

Financial consultant Anthony Knight, 72, branded Dr Lydumil Zyapkov a ‘nasty little man’ and warned his neighbour not to let his cat out into the shared outside space otherwise ‘I will kill it’

Dr Lydumil Zyapkov’s pet cat Bandit whom Mr Knight threatened to murder over a bad-tempered row about a tiny cupboard at Ennismore Gardens Mews

Mr Knight was seen threatening to kill his neighbours’ cat following a bitter row

The tiny washing machine cupboard which caused the massive furore between the feuding neighbours 

‘But all of this has been very distressing for us, particularly my wife Angie.

‘In business sometimes you have to deal with legal disputes. But my wife has never been involved in a lawsuit, or anything like that, so this has been particularly upsetting for her.

‘But after the S.H.I.T. they put us through we were forced to launch legal action.’

The mews, where houses sell for over £3 million, was originally built to provide stables and coach house accommodation for the larger houses on nearby Ennismore Gardens.

Mr Knight, who likes to be known as Tony, told how he and his wife only discovered that their neighbours had taken control of the ‘cupboard’ space, when Ms Grigore invited his wife Angie into the neighbouring basement flat soon after she moved in.

He said: ‘The neighbour came ’round to introduce herself and offered to show Angie around her flat.

‘And that was when he noticed that they had taken over our cupboard. That was in 2019.

Mr Knight, who likes to be known as Tony, told how he and his wife only discovered that their neighbours had taken control of the ‘cupboard’ space, when Ms Grigore invited his wife Angie into the neighbouring basement flat soon after she moved in

Mr Knight and his wife Angela, 69, had owned the undecorated storage area, accessed via an outside door since 1995

The Knights lived abroad for much of the year, and were unaware that the previous owners of the neighbouring basement flat had taken over the cupboard and bricked it up from the inside and turned it into a utility space

‘They had bought the flat without instructing a surveyor. So, they were not aware that the cupboard is on our deeds.

‘And with properties in this street going for up to £3million, that cupboard space is worth £75,000.’

Mr Knight and his wife Angela, 69, had owned the undecorated storage area, accessed via an outside door, since they moved into the property near Harrods in 1995.

But as the couple lived abroad for much of the year, they were unaware that the previous owners of the neighbouring basement flat had taken over the cupboard and bricked it up from the inside and turned it into a utility space.

Dr Zyapkov and his wife Juliana Grigore the bought flat – part of a sprawling house which was the final home of Hollywood star Ava Gardener – in November 2018.

The couple sued Mr Knight in a bid to have the cupboard declared part of their property by way of adverse possession, also known as ‘squatters’ rights’.

They claimed it had been used for more than 25 years by owners of their flat and argued that they and previous owners had ‘reasonably believed it was theirs’.

They also claimed damages for harassment and nuisance over Mr Knight’s conduct, complaining that as well as threatening to kill their beloved pet cat ‘Bandit’ and maliciously placed his smelly bins at their patio door to intimidate them.

Bank of America market analyst Dr Zyapkov and his naval engineer wife Ms Grigore outside Central London County Court

Mr Knight told how he only discovered that their neighbours had taken control of the ‘cupboard’ space his wife Angie was invited into the neighbouring basement flat

The mews, where houses sell for over £3 million, was originally built to provide stables and coach house accommodation for the larger houses on nearby Ennismore Gardens

Mr Knight claimed he had tried – and failed – to reason with the couple over ownership of the tiny wall space, which he claims is valued at up to £75,000

The mews was built to provide stables and coach house accommodation for the larger houses on nearby Ennismore Gardens

However, the Knights countersued for a declaration that the cupboard remains part of the title to their home.

And Judge Jan Luba KC ruled in favour of the Knights at the Central London County Court.

Today Ms Grigore told MailOnline: ‘Mr Knight is a fantasist.

‘The judge awarded Mr Knight ownership of the cupboard, but we are going to appeal this decision.

‘We refuse to be screamed at, shouted at, harassed and threatened.

‘We inherited this problem. We did not create it; it was done by the previous occupants.

‘When we found out about it, we tried to sort it out. But you can’t reason with people like him.

The disputed cupboard between the homes in of Mr and Mrs Knight and Dr Zyapkov and his wife

The gap between the two homes in Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge

A row over possession of a one metre square washing machine. Pictured: Ennismore Gardens Mews 

The blue plaque of AVA GARDNER on building, Ennismore Gardens

Mr Knight threatened to kill his neighbour’s cat in a heated row over who owned the tiny cupboard wedged between their exclusive Knightsbridge homes 

The highlighted disputed spider wed-filled tiny cupboard between the homes in Ennismore Gardens Mews, London

‘The cupboard is worth £17,000. But we offered Mr Knight £65,000 for it. But he refused. He said he was going to buy my flat and get his property back that way. But my home is not for sale.

‘He threatened to kill our cat Bandit. We don’t have children, so he is very special to us.

‘We are considering selling the flat because how can we live next door to a man like that?’

Ms Grigore dispute that her husband has been ordered to pay Mr Knight’s leaf costs of more than £50,000 as well as his own £52,000.

She said: ‘The costs are £30,000. But he’s never going to pay them because we are going to appeal this ruling and we will win.’

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