Judge tells pair in GosFest row they are wasting time

GosFest last year
GosFest last year
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TWO men locked in a bitter dispute after running a festival have been criticised by a judge for not knowing what they are arguing about.

Dave Smith and Paul Cobb put on GosFest at Walpole Park last year, with Mr Smith launching legal action after the event saying Mr Cobb owes him £13,000.

Addressing the pair at the fourth hearing, District Judge Charles Ackroyd said they were wasting time as the pair put forward multiple arguments and the issue had become confused.

He also warned Mr Cobb over not following a court order.

The legal battle has had a profound affect on Mr Smith’s mental health, his solicitor told Portsmouth County Court.

Judge Ackroyd said: ‘Neither of you actually knows what you’re arguing about. You just know you’re having an argument.

‘I consider that you, Mr Smith and Mr Cobb, between you have wasted a couple of months’ time.’

Even Mr Smith’s solicitor, Antony Coldrige told the court: ‘This is one of the most vacuous claims I’ve seen.’

The court also heard that Mr Smith, 59, of St Thomas’s Road, Gosport, is being pursued in the small claims court by Yorkshire firm Dezign Audio for £6,000. The firm was a supplier last year.

Barry Newby runs the firm and said: ‘I’m only a small one-man PA company. I can’t afford to lose £6,000.

‘I’m stuck in the middle trying to get money.’

And Mr Ackroyd warned Mr Cobb, of Gosport Festivals Ltd, over not complying with an earlier court order to produce his accounts.

He said he didn’t want to hand over details from his bank accounts.

‘At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if I made £5m or lost £5m,’ he said after the case.

Mr Cobb, who is defending himself, has lodged a £27,000 counter-claim but was told he must be able to justify it at a trial set for later this year.

As reported in The News, the festival attracted thousands of people last August but firms were left out of pocket after not being paid.

Mr Cobb plans to run GosFest at Walpole Park from August 7 to August 10, while another group plans to run Gosport Waterfront Community Festival from July 18 to 20 at the same place.

After the hearing, Mr Cobb said: ‘It’s dragging on. I cannot believe the amount of time it’s taking to resolve.’

Mr Smith added: ‘This is the fourth time and he keeps coming up with the same argument.’

The pair have to come up with witness statements and documents for the trial, which could start in October.