This is the astonishing moment a financier threatened to kill his neighbour’s cat and branded him a ‘nasty little man’ in a furious bust-up over a tiny washing machine cupboard in exclusive Knightsbridge.
Video filmed by Dr Lyudmil Zyapkov shows financial consultant Anthony Knight yelling at him before threatening to murder his pet as a dispute over ownership of the small cupboard got out of hand.
Mr Knight, 72, and his wife Angela, 69, have owned the undecorated storage area containing a washing machine and dryer – wedged between their properties and accessible via an outside door – since they moved into their home on Ennismore Gardens Mews near Harrods in 1995.
The couple used it to store their children’s sports equipment but it has stood unused since 2010 after their kids left home.
But eight years later, they discovered it had been secretly bricked up from the inside by a previous owner and turned into a utilities space for the neighbouring basement flat, now owned by Bank of America analyst Dr Zyapkov and his naval engineer wife Juliana Grigore.
What followed was a series of spats between the neighbours, with Mr Knight placing his bins outside his neighbour’s patio door and Dr Zyapkov becoming ‘obsessed’ with hanging onto the neighbour.
In two exchanges, video obtained exclusively by MailOnline shows Mr Knight branding Dr Zyapkov a ‘nasty little man’ and threatening to kill his cat Bandit if the pet was let into the outside space.
But a judge ruled that the cupboard be returned to Mr Knight, telling the pair their passions had got ‘out of proportion’ and ordering Dr Zyapkov to pay Mr Knight’s £50,000 legal costs, as well as his own £52,000 bill.
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’
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
Bank of America market analyst Dr Zyapkov and his naval engineer wife Ms Grigore outside Central London County Court
The highlighted disputed spider wed-filled tiny cupboard between the homes in Ennismore Gardens Mews, London
Dr Zyapkov and Ms Grigore live in a basement flat of 34 Ennismore Gardens, a large four storey mansion, which backs onto Ennismore Gardens Mews. The cupboard at the centre of the neighbour dispute is located in the toilet at the far end of the flat and backs onto an area shared by the Knights’ mews home and the apartments of 34 Ennismore Gardens.
The area, which cannot be built upon, also houses a fire escape for residents of 34 Ennismore Gardens.
Speaking outside his home in the one of the most exclusive streets in London, 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 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.
‘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**t they put us through we were forced to launch legal action.’
The mews, where houses sell for more than £3million, 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.
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, 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.
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 more than £3million, 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 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.’