Candyman allegedly made ex-employee’s family cry
GOLD Coast tobacco czar Travers "Candyman'' Beynon has lost the latest round in a legal dispute with former best friend and right-hand man Andrew Whelan.
The pair have gone from glitzy Ibiza lunches to court hearings and allegations of the Candyman waiting outside Mr Whelan's home, making his wife and children cry.
Mr Beynon was ordered by a court to pay Mr Whelan $39,785 in December, stemming from Mr Whelan's sacking, and then on Tuesday this week the Candyman lost a claim for $1274 - what he said was the cost of trying to retrieve a company computer, phone and documents from Mr Whelan.
The five-day District Court hearing heard about life in Mr Beynon's tobacco empire, with infighting, wild parties, beautiful women, trips to Ibiza and tightly-held secrets.
According to District Court Judge David Andrew's decision delivered on Tuesday, Mr Beynon sacked former Free Choice Tobacco general manager Mr Whelan in August 2015.
In December Mr Beynon was ordered to pay Mr Whelan $39,785 for dismissal without notice, unpaid annual leave and compensation for the "hurt and humiliation" of having to explain his dismissal to future employers.
On Tuesday Mr Beynon lost his District Court claim for the $1274. In the decision handed down, it was revealed Mr Whelan had left work at 4pm on August 24, 2015, to see a doctor. By 4.30pm he had received an email with his termination letter.
It stated he had breached the company's confidentiality clause, which the court heard was in relation to a Zoo Magazine article.
At 5pm Mr Beynon, his human relations manager and two other workers went to Mr Whelan's house to retrieve a laptop and iPhone.
Mr Whelan was not there. The court had heard his wife was asked to return the items but became upset and "was screaming".
"Mr Whelan arrived at home by car with Mr Beynon and three others following him up the street," the decision read.
"He saw his wife and children crying and his wife hysterical."
Mr Whelan went inside without speaking to Mr Beynon or his team.
Mr Beynon's team left, leaving a security guard outside the home until police arrived.
The decision said Mr Beynon engaged his lawyers to email Mr Whelan, saying he had stolen intellectual property and confidential information belonging to Mr Beynon.
The following day Mr Whelan copied information on to a personal computer and returned the company equipment.
Mr Beynon also alleged Mr Whelan breached confidentiality when he sent a preview of a Zoom Magazine article of Mr Beynon surrounded by beautiful women to one of the models.
But Judge David Andrews wrote in his decision that Mr Whelan said Mr Beynon had allowed him to do this.
"He explained that he received a message from the model asking if he could send the article to her, but he asked Mr Beynon as they were sitting having lunch in Ibiza and that Mr Beynon approved it," the decision read.
Judge Andrews decided that taking the laptop, documents and iPhone home before he knew he was fired was not a breach.
Copying the work information on to a personal computer was a breach, according to the judge. However, he found that most of Mr Beynon's expenses were incurred before Mr Whelan copied the information and therefore denied his application for costs.