Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away: Woman sues for invasion of privacy

A woman who was filmed crying in her pyjamas on hit TV show Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away! is suing for £100,000 after claiming her ‘privacy was invaded’.

Neelam Zarghune, then 19, was recorded by body cameras worn by bailiffs as they arrived at her flat in Hounslow, West London, in 2017.

Her lawyers claim that the footage was used without her consent when it was shown on Channel 5 as part of the the popular fly-on-the-wall programme and watched by nearly 1.5 million viewers.

She is now seeking up to £100,000 in damages and a gagging order to prevent footage being aired again. 

Neelam Zarghune, then 19, was recorded by body cameras worn by bailiffs as they arrived at her flat in Hounslow, West London, in 2017 (bailiffs during a separate episode of Channel 5's Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away!)

Neelam Zarghune, then 19, was recorded by body cameras worn by bailiffs as they arrived at her flat in Hounslow, West London, in 2017 (bailiffs during a separate episode of Channel 5’s Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away!)

Ms Zarghune, now 23, has lodged her privacy claim at the High Court against Channel 5, the show’s creator Brinkworth Films and the DCBL bailiffs, according to The Sun.

Bailiffs had turned up to chase £1,700 in unpaid parking fines linked to Ms Zarghune’s car that she claims were owed by her then boyfriend. 

Her writ states that she had refused to give the film crew permission to enter the flat but was deceived when the bodycam footage was used by Channel 5.

She said that the clip used of her in her pyjamas was a ‘deeply humiliating ordeal’.   

Ms Zarghune’s is now seeking up to £100,000 in damages and a gagging order to prevent footage being aired again.

MailOnline has contacted Channel 5, Brinkworth Films and DCBL for comment.

Her lawyers claim that the footage was used without her consent when it was shown on Channel 5 as part of the the popular fly-on-the-wall programme and watched by nearly 1.5 million viewers (bailiffs during a separate episode of Channel 5's Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away!)

Her lawyers claim that the footage was used without her consent when it was shown on Channel 5 as part of the the popular fly-on-the-wall programme and watched by nearly 1.5 million viewers (bailiffs during a separate episode of Channel 5’s Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away!)

Ms Zarghune, now 23, has lodged her privacy claim at the High Court (pictured) against Channel 5, the show's creator Brinkworth Films and the DCBL bailiffs, according to The Sun

Ms Zarghune, now 23, has lodged her privacy claim at the High Court (pictured) against Channel 5, the show’s creator Brinkworth Films and the DCBL bailiffs, according to The Sun  

It comes just weeks after another woman launched a High Court privacy battle against Channel 5 after she was filmed being evicted. 

The woman is also suing the broadcaster for up to £100,000 over the tactics and techniques used in filming.

The claimant featured in an episode which showed her and her 15-month old baby daughter being evicted from their flat in Hammersmith.

She claims that private information about her was misused by the filming of her both openly and surreptitiously.

The woman is seeking compensation from Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd in respect of the filming of the show, which was screened on October 28, 2015, as episode five of season three.

She is also seeking a court order banning further broadcasting of the episode. 

It comes just weeks after another woman launched a High Court privacy battle against Channel 5 (head office pictured) after she was filmed being evicted

It comes just weeks after another woman launched a High Court privacy battle against Channel 5 (head office pictured) after she was filmed being evicted 

The details of her claim have been signed by a top QC who specialises in cases involving breach of confidence and privacy.

The court papers say that the woman knew she was due for eviction after running up debts of £11,000.

However, she had not expected eviction on the day it happened.

And when it happened on May 2015, the papers say two High Court Enforcement Agents working for debt collectors, DCBL, accompanied by a three-man film crew working for Brinkworth Films Ltd, turned up at her door.

One of them is said to have become a ‘minor celebrity’ as a result of previous appearances in the series and, as part of the claim against Channel 5, is accused of having abused his role on film in order to create good television by stirring up conflict between parties involved.

Back in 2018 one couple won £20,000 in damages after the husband appeared in his pyjamas while being evicted. 

Shakir Ali and Shahida Aslam, of Barking, East London, were victorious in the landmark case after taking Channel 5 to the High Court for invasion of privacy.

Mr Ali, who has two children with his wife, was filmed on the show being lawfully evicted from inside the terraced Victorian house in his pyjamas and on crutches.

The episode, which was watched nearly ten million times on Channel 5 channels over 18 months, also featured shots of their bedroom and their children’s rooms.

In addition the footage showed the landlord’s son humiliating the couple and revealed they were jobless and on housing benefit.

The judgment said Mr Ali was woken up having been in a deep sleep due to medication he was taking. The footage shows him appearing drowsy and confused.

The couple were said to have faced ‘significant distress and ongoing humiliation’ afterwards, and Mr Ali sent an email to the headteacher of his daughter’s school saying that she was being bullied as a consequence of what happened.

C5 had argued the filming tactics were in the public interest because the show examined real-life issues including personal debt and dependence on benefits.

But Mr Justice Arnold ruled earlier this month that the couple’s reasonable expectation of privacy outweighed Channel 5’s right to freedom of expression.

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