Crystal Carwash boss Anthony Sahade is used to courtroom soap operas.
Mr Sahade, a Point Piper millionaire who has been in and out of Sydney courts for years over neighbourhood disputes on Australia’s wealthiest street, has most recently been in a lather about a fine from Randwick Council..He was expanding his wash facilites to cater for dogs
The council found an unauthorised dog washing set-up, including a basin and a fence, had been installed at a Crystal Car Wash site in Coogee in March 2015, and ordered its removal.
Mr Sahade then sought and was granted council approval for the dog grooming facility, and refused to pay a $1500 fine for the initial unapproved installation.
The matter went to court and his company Lenjade was convicted and fined $12,000, with $8000 legal costs.
Mr Sahade appealed the decision and last week the Land and Environment Court acquitted Lenjade, ruling there was not enough evidence to prove Mr Sahade directly authorised the development.
During the hearings, Mr Sahade likened managing franchisees to fatherhood.
“I tell my son, ‘You have to be home by 10 o’clock’ but he comes home at 11 o’clock and he uses his discretion and he’s sensible then it’s not a punishable sin. It’s no different to the franchisee having a go at putting a dog wash in to enhance his business,” Mr Sahade said.
“Even though it’s prohibited within the lease it’s not something that’s worth punishing him [for] because he’s doing what’s best for his business and what’s best for his business ultimately profits the whole Crystal Carwash chain.”
It is the latest in a string of legal proceedings involving Mr Sahade.
In 2014, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal ordered Mr Sahade and his son Victor not to “threaten or act in an aggressive manner” towards their neighbours on a battleaxe block on Wolseley Road.
Senior member Richard Buckley said that, since May 2005, Mr Sahade’s conduct had been “characterised by a lack of civility, arrogance, threatening behaviour, a disdain for the rights of other lot owners and a disregard for the obligations imposed” by strata laws.
The same year, the Federal Court fined Crystal Carwash for underpaying workers by almost $180,000.
In 2012, Woollahra Council took Mr Sahade to court over a staircase at his mansion, which was built without permission.
Two months later, as Mr Sahade and a carpenter demolished the steps, a physical fight broke out with a neighbour.
CCTV footage of the fight captured Mr Sahade telling the neighbour: “You’re a goner”, various courts heard.
A magistrate dismissed assault charges against the car wash boss.