The wife of the billionaire founder of India’s Avantha Group has appeared in a London court accused of causing thousands of pounds of damage to a neighbour’s Bentley near her Knightsbridge home.
German-born Stephanie Thapar, wife of Gautam Thapar, is charged with causing more than £4000 of damage by “keying” the Bentley Continental GT belonging to Michael Connor near the couple’s £21 million home.
Prosecutor Tom Gill told the court that Mr Connor had heard Mrs Thapar sounding her horn as she tried to negotiate her way around his car and into her garage in the evening of 22 January.
Mr Connor alleges that Mrs Thapar then exited her garage before scratching the back of his Bentley several times.
When he noticed the scratches the following morning he immediately called the police.
Mrs Thapar was immediately arrested and interviewed.
Mr Thapar, who has an estimated personal fortune of £1 billion, accompanied his wife to Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court where the trial was set for July 29.
Mrs Thapar, 50, pleaded not guilty to the charge, denying she touched the vehicle, and was bailed.
She was represented in court by leading QC Jeremy Dean, who successfully defended X-Factor star Tulisa Contostavlos of cocaine supply after a News of the World sting.
Mrs Thapar is Gautam Thapar’s second wife. The tycoon set up Delhi-based Avantha Group in 2006 and oversees the $4 billion conglomerate.
In 2008 he won Earnst & Young’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ for manufacturing and in 2013 King’s College conferred an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his “exceptional achievements in the fields of industry and philanthropy”.
– Image courtesy of Tony Palmer