Correspondence and other materials relating to the effort to defend Natanya Waybourne against the ongoing attempt to seize her assets in wake of the death of her longtime partner Mark Keds
[A brief summary of the situation may be found at our fundraising page at Crowd Justice, where you can also donate to the legal defense effort and learn more about the need for intestacy reform]
Document #1: January 13 Letter from Apartment Manager
Document #2: March 22 Letter from Apartment Manager
Document #3: March 23, 2021 Response to Apartment Manager from Waybourne Defense Committee
Clark House Management
7 Clark House
65a Sidney Street
Waybourne Defense Committee
We are writing to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated March 22 to Natanya Waybourne, who has asked us to assist with the various issues stemming from the death of her partner Mark Hammerton (aka Mark Keds, aka Mark Myers) as well as the status of their shared assets.
As you point out in the March 22 letter, you previously wrote to Waybourne on January 13 to reprimand her over one of her visitors having “failed to close [the front door] properly when they left” on the previous evening, January 12 — one day after the death of Hammerton. As you yourself immediately go on to note, “the front door is in bad repair and is tricky to close”.
Given that this incident marks the first time in a year that you have written to Waybourne’s household to complain about the front door having been left open; and given that you yourself admit that the failure to properly close the door on this occasion stems from the fact that the door was “in bad repair and tricky to close”, a state of affairs that is the responsibility of you as apartment manager to rectify; and also given that you seem to acknowledge in the letter that this was “a difficult time” for Waybourne due to the death of her partner the day before the door-being-left-open incident at issue; it would appear that everyone concerned is in agreement that the door having been left open on January 12th was an understandable, singular, and direct consequence of the death of a resident and the efforts by paramedics to prevent that death, rather than something which merited you sending a hostile letter to his surviving partner along with a dubious demand for additional money.
To be clear, we are aware of your position, set forth in the original January 13th letter that you’ve helpfully sent along again with this more recent one, that Natanya herself is responsible for the front door having been put into disrepair to begin with. As you put it in January:
“The insurance will not pay out because you failed to let the paramedics in”.
Presumably this is a reference to an incident several days before Hammerton’s death on the 11th when Natanya called 111 to ask for advice on a medical episode Hammerton was having; several hours later, paramedics and police arrived and shortly thereafter began knocking down the front door while Natanya was administering CPR to Mark. Upon realizing that the authorities had begun breaching the door, Natanya proceeded downstairs to open it for them, and was able to do this before the door itself was destroyed (as can be deduced from your own contention that the door in question was still sufficiently operable a few days later that a resident or their guest should have been expected to successfully operate it as normal, and failing that, should be reprimanded in confusing and ungrammatical writing). To wit: contrary to your express claim, Natanya did indeed let the paramedics in.
In this context, we would submit the following points in response to your letters of January 13th and March 22:
- Natanya is not responsible for a communal door that is in bad repair and “tricky to close” having supposedly not been properly closed by a visitor the day after Hammerton’s death.
- Natanya is not responsible for the damage to the door caused by paramedics and police in the course of responding to a serious medical crisis.
- You have falsely claimed that Natanya “failed to let the paramedics in”, since she did indeed let them in even in spite of the risk inherent to ceasing the administration of CPR to Mark.
- Points 2 and 3 can be confirmed or refuted only by the video footage you yourself maintain of the apartment corridors.
- To the extent that Natanya can be said to have responded with insufficient haste to the attempts of the paramedics and police to announce their arrival at the front door, and to the extent that this has actually resulted in your insurance firm having immediately refused to pay for its repair such that Natanya should be considered liable for the entirety of the associated costs of replacing it, you should be able to provide us with
(a) documentation to the effect that the insurance policy in question specifies the conditions and timing that would free the insurance firm from paying out in such a case, (b) the provision of any written agreements between the management firm and the residents that would clearly indicate a resident to be liable to the firm in such a case © any documentation proving that the resident is responsible for the failure of the insurance firm to pay out either due to having “failed to let the paramedics in” or due to having failed to open the building’s front door in some specified period of time, or on any other grounds (d) documentation proving that the insurance company itself does indeed take such a position as you have ascribed to them, and that they were provided with an accurate account of the events in question rather than the demonstrably false version you’ve presented in your letter (e) all relevant video footage from the security cameras you maintain that would cover the days in question
6. Our understanding of UK law and practice is that police or other emergency responding parties typically compensate property owners for minor damages incurred in the course of responding to medical emergencies, which would of course render all of the above moot.
7. You have put forward several contradictory directives as to Natanya’s rights under UK law to have other persons visit or attend to her flat. To wit:
(a) In the January 13th letter, you directed Natanya as follows:
“While I understand this is a difficult time for you can you limit visitors to an absolute minimum and there are laws against it with the current Covid 19 pandemic.”
It is not extraordinarily clear what it is that such a string of words as this could possibly mean, nor whether it is intended to convey your position that some unspecified “absolute minimum” of visitors would be acceptable, or rather to indicate that the “it” in question would in fact constitute a crime, or whether “it” refers to the request you’ve just made, or rather to some alternate scenario in which “it” should instead be understood as constituting the allowance of visitors to some extent beyond the “absolute minimum” you’ve specified as being acceptable or permissible or desirable or whatever it is that you intended to say here.
(b) As you note in passing in the same letter, there are indeed laws and guidelines regulating social engagement under the United Kingdom’s current Covid status. Indeed, these rules are somewhat more well-defined than your own stated allowance for an “absolute minimum” of “visitors”. For example, you yourself allude to several of these guidelines in your recent letter of March 22, wherein you note that parties included in a household or a household’s support bubble can indeed be invited to one’s home. Obviously these are not the only permitted visitors under the Tier 4 restrictions you’ve referenced, which also allows for assorted other business, medical, and other special categories of individuals to approach or enter a dwelling under a variety of circumstances.
© As you do not explicitly accuse Natanya of having violated any of these rules on any occasion in this March 22 letter, but have instead merely asserted in your letter that “none of us” (presumably referring to yourself and the other residents) “have had any visitors (Friends [sic] or family) since the latest lockdown regulations have been in place”, before going on to provide a truncated version of these regulations and thereafter claiming that Natanya is “putting the residents of Clark House at Risk [sic]!”; you then proceed to list the relevant fines for Covid violations. It’s unclear whether by all of this you mean to accuse Natanya of having violated UK law in this instance. But inasmuch as you have ended this latest letter with a threat to the effect that “If I feel these rules are not being observed, then I WILL report it to the police,” it would seem reasonable to determine that you either do not as of yet “feel” any such thing (in which case it is not immediately apparent why you’ve felt the need to write her a letter of this sort) or that, on the contrary, you have indeed experienced the feeling in question (in which case we may determine that you have not reported these feelings to the police at all despite your bold declaration to the effect that you “WILL”).
(d) In either case, it’s presumably in Natanya’s interest that you be made aware, in a manner that can be documented as having been conveyed to you in response to your pseudo-accusations, that the visitors she’s received in the weeks since your last threatening letter have all fallen within the categories you yourself have listed as obvious exceptions to the rules in question. To the extent that you may actually find it worthwhile to nonetheless report these feelings to the Metropolitan police, those of us who have been coming by in order to help her deal with the aftermath of your resident Hammerton’s death will of course be willing to demonstrate this to the responding officers and, if need be, any relevant courts.
This covers our immediate concerns pertaining to your two letters to Waybourne. We do have other, considerably more serious concerns relating to an ongoing attempt to seize the flat Waybourne and Hammerton had been maintaining and making payments on together in the years since the two began cohabiting and collaborating on their overlapping art and music work in early 2014. In recent weeks we have reviewed your phone text communications with Hammerton over the months leading up to his death, as well as other documentation indicating the existence of some unknown relationship between yourself and the party that has been attempting to take the flat since Hammerton’s death. In light of the aggressive and insulting language about Hammerton’s health and consequent state benefits, as well as your inappropriate and colorful expressions of interest in Hammerton and Waybourne’s relationship, your past practice of sending Hammerton footage of Waybourne from the CCTV cameras and referring to her in inappropriate terms (“your maid”, for instance) and requesting that the two break up; and also given the strikingly inappropriate nature of the letters Waybourne has received both from you and from the solicitor acting on behalf of the party that’s seeking to obtain and sell the flat; and adding to all of this the fact that the party in question seems to have oddly specific knowledge of Waybourne’s visits from those of us who have been investigating this issue in the last few weeks; we are obligated to present you with the attached Subject Access Request document pertaining to any relevant records that are producible under law.
Waybourne Defense Committee
Clark House Management Company LTD
Flat 7, Clark House
65A Sidney St
Flat 6, Clark House
65A Sidney St
Dear Sir or Madam
Subject access request: Natanya Waybourne
Please supply the personal data you hold about me, which I am entitled to receive under data protection law, held in:
Any files concerning ‘Mark Hammerton’ (deceased) and/or ‘Natanya Waybourne’ maintained by Clark House Management Company from January 2014 to present
Any emails between ‘Paul Cullen’ and ‘Liz Myers’ maintained by Clark House Management Company and/or its director Paul Cullen from January 2014 to present
Any recordings produced by the CCTV cameras situated at Clark House, 65A Sidney St, between 7 January and 13 January, that feature Metropolitan Police and public health responders whose manner of entry and the results thereof are at issue in Clark House Management’s demand for payments
Any written communications between Clark House Management or its director Paul Cullen and the insurance company that Clark House Management has alleged to have refused to pay for the damage done to the building by the Metropolitan Police and public health responders
Note that UK data protection law requires you to respond to a request for personal data within one calendar month. If you do not normally deal with these requests, please pass this letter to your data protection officer or relevant staff member. If you need advice on dealing with this request, the Information Commissioner’s Office can assist you via its website at ico.org.uk or by phone at 0303 123 1113. Separately, you may contact the Waybourne Defense Committee for any needed info or clarification via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Document #4: March 15 Letter from Gordon Partnership LLP to Natanya Waybourne
Document #5: March 24, 2021 Response to Gordon Partnership LLP from Waybourne Defense Committee
Solicitor, Head of Private Wealth
Gordons Partnership LLP
Upper Edgeborough Road
Surrey GUI 2BJ
Waybourne Defense Committee
We are writing to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 15 March addressed to Natanya Waybourne, who has asked us to assist with the various issues stemming from the recent death of her partner Mark Hammerton. In order to clarify these issues, we’ll address your letter sentence by sentence:
“We are writing to let you know that we are acting in the administration of the estate of the late Mark Hammerton. Please accept our sincere condolences for your loss.”
We have accepted your condolences, which are quite touching.
“As you know Mark died intestate (i.e. without leaving a will) and therefore the intestacy rules govern what happens to his estate. Mark was not married nor did he have any children and therefore under the rules, all his estate is given to his surviving parent, his mother Liz Myers absolutely and she has instructed us to act in the administration of his estate on her behalf.”
Though you are correct in noting that the United Kingdom’s rules on intestacy would result in Hammerton’s estranged mother Liz Myers inheriting any assets that can be reliably shown to have constituted his sole estate under certain conditions, it is of course not at all true that “all of his estate is given” to Myers, “absolutely” or otherwise. As established in the 1975 Inheritance Act, other parties may petition the court for “reasonable financial provision” from such an estate, to an extent governed by a variety of relevant factors including the presumable intent of the deceased. As such, Hammerton’s longtime live-in partner and artistic collaborator who helped to pay for and maintain their shared flat for seven years while also caring for him during the months in which he was bedridden is a likely candidate to receive some portion of the assets that Myers has been diligently seeking to seize for herself since his unexpected death in January. As a solicitor who heads up your firm’s private wealth division and specializes in family and tax law, you no doubt simply forgot all about this.
“In order to deal with the estate correctly, Liz has a legal obligation to submit to HMRC an inheritance tax account and as such we will need to have immediate access to the flat 6 Clark House in order to have it valued for inheritance tax purposes.”
Your client will be relieved to learn that the inheritance tax account requirements in question do not actually require your client to be given immediate access to Waybourne’s flat. For one thing, Her Majesty permits a period of six months from the end of the month of the death of the deceased in question before the report is due. As Hammerton died in January; and as the clock in question did not begin ticking until February 1; and as this particular month in which we find ourselves would seem to be March, your client actually has until August 1 or thereabouts to submit the account in question.
Better yet, the process of valuing the flat for tax purposes — and for the purposes of selling it immediately thereafter along with Hammerton’s nearly one million pounds worth of music that he had been in the process of selling in hopes of being able to start a family with Waybourne and to purchase a larger home to that end — does not actually require you or your client to have any access whatsoever to Waybourne’s home, files, or personal belongings, nor to the files left behind by her son, including those in which he described his parents as “abusive” and proposed writing about this at further length.
Additionally, arrangements to appraise the flat could have easily been made with Waybourne herself before such time as it became evident that your client cannot be trusted. But your client’s decision to begin threatening Waybourne with a solicitor just a week after the funeral obviously necessitates that the matter now be dealt with more formally.
“Liz as administrator also has a duty to protect the assets of the estate including ensuring that the flat is maintained properly and so would you please forward a set of keys to us as a matter of urgency by special delivery.”
Sadly, Waybourne also has a duty to maintain the flat. Indeed, she has already been billed by the apartment manager of Clark House Management for damage done to the front door by emergency medical responders and Metropolitan Police when they arrived to administer aid to him in early January, and thus seemingly has a duty to maintain the entire building and assume responsibility for some vague category of actions taken by the City of London. This would appear to outrank the responsibility your client has to take control of her home and its contents in an effort to sell it, though the issue is admittedly quite complicated, and thus perhaps best resolved by the courts. Having said that, you can probably determine for yourself what the implications are for your client’s position to the effect that she herself inexplicably owns the flat outright and that this is somehow obvious and confirmed by law, practice, statute, custom, general perception, or anything at all.
Another related complication involves a threatening letter that the same apartment manager sent to Waybourne shortly after the arrival of your own, in which he expresses specific and unusual interest in the fact that Waybourne has received visitors in the wake of her partner’s death, and vows to call the police on her if he feels that such visits might somehow violate the current UK Covid guidelines, which of course they don’t, due to falling under the several exceptions allowing for household support bubbles and so forth. As such, any visits by solicitors or appraisers for the purpose of assessing the value of an apartment that need not be assessed until summer could potentially put Waybourne at risk of further illicit threats, harassment, and unwarranted use of Metropolitan Police resources. On the other hand, given the documentation we have on hand showing that your client and the apartment manager have been in contact regarding the flat and related issues, there’s good reason to believe that anyone visiting the flat in order to assist your client in seizing it would be looked upon with more approval than those of us who have visited for the opposite purpose.
To put it another way: No, Waybourne will not be sending her keys to some Surrey law firm represented by your client, for much the same reason that Hammerton went so far as to change his last name in order to distance himself from your client and then adopted a stage name on top of that.
“The estate will pay for the postage if you let us have note of the cost.”
We are authorized to relay that Waybourne is overwhelmed by your generosity but must respectfully decline.
“We understand that you have been living in the flat since Mark died, but you will now need to vacate the property, because it will have to be sold. In order to give you sufficient time to find alternative accommodation, Liz would agree for you to stay in the property if you like, until 1 June 2021, at which date you must leave.”
To clarify, Waybourne has been living in the flat since February 2014, when she and Hammerton first fell in love and began a life together. Aside from living in the flat and maintaining it, she has also helped to pay for it with income earned from her work as a dressmaker whose handicrafts have been featured on programs like America’s Top Model. Like so many creative women throughout history, she has also played a significant role in the work and life of her partner, who paid for much of the rest of the flat with income derived from his own art, in which she also played an unusually consistent and prominent part, which is why she has been the subject of so much of the cover art and music video collateral of his band The Deadcuts. And like so many artists, she is more vulnerable than most to the sort of people whose first reaction to tragedy is to start picking the bones clean before they have even been buried; she is especially vulnerable at this time, having borne the brunt of this particular tragedy, as well as the shocking aftermath perpetrated by your client. As such, we ask that any further communications from your firm, from your client, and from your client’s associates be directed to the London law firm that is now advising her on this matter thanks to ongoing public donations via Crowdjustice.org: Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors.
Naturally all of these parties are free under UK law to ignore this request and to continue to send communications to Waybourne directly. All such communications will be made public just as this one has been and will receive public replies of a character very much akin to this one.
We’ll conclude by noting that in the space of the above two sentences, you have variously informed Waybourne that she “will now need to vacate the property” and also that she must vacate the property two months from now on June 1, and that it is not immediately clear how (now) = (now + two months) or why someone would pay you to conceive of such a thing and even write it down and sign your name to it.
“Please confirm receipt of this letter and let us have the set of keys to the flat as soon as possible. Please also keep us informed as to your search for alternative accommodations.”
Waybourne Defense Committee
Sylvia Mann, Founder
Barrett Brown, Spokesman