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Legal battle takes a fresh twist

London: A box belonging to Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony containing mobile phones, video recorders and a computer, some of which contained “highly controversial” material relevant to his ongoing damages claim against former client Paul Di Resta, went missing during a house move earlier this year, a court was told on Wednesday.

Anthony said that he reported the missing box to his local police station in Tewin, Hertfordshire, but no crime report was filed as he could not say whether the box had been stolen or misplaced.

Anthony is suing Di Resta for breach of contract and loss of earnings after being sacked by the Scot during the early stages of the 2012 season.

Di Resta claims that he was misled over a multimillion pound deal with an energy drinks company.

On a fractious first morning, Anthony was repeatedly asked under cross-examination about his tax affairs and the records he kept of his business dealings. It was in this context that he was quizzed about his house move.

It emerged that a box containing “a tonne of stuff”, including probably “five years’ worth” of Blackberries, perhaps as many as 18, belonging to him, his wife Linda, and sons Lewis and Nicolas, went missing during the move, which took place from March to July this year.

Paul Downes QC, representing Di Resta, asked Anthony about the contents of the missing equipment.

“One of those Blackberries contained very important electronic files, didn’t it?” he asked. “Probably two,” Anthony responded.

“You knew they would be highly controversial in these proceedings, didn’t you?” Downes continued. “Correct,” Anthony said.

“You knew it was important to preserve all electronic records relating to this case?” Downes asked. “Correct,” Anthony repeated.

Anthony told the court that he only realised the box was missing in September this year and informed his local police station but did not report a crime or make an insurance claim as he could “not guarantee whether the box had been stolen or thrown away.”