A butcher has sued a bowling club and its long-serving boss for defamation after the pair fell out over claims of a forged signature on a meat supply contract.
A butcher has sued a bowling club and its long-serving boss for defamation after the pair fell out over claims of a forged signature on a meat supply contract.

Butcher’s beef with his bowlo lands in court

A BUTCHER has sued his local bowling club and its long-serving boss for sullying his reputation after the pair fell out over claims a signature on a meat-supply contract was forged.

Neil Blank, of Hope Island Gourmet Meats, a supplier of meat to Club Helensvale's kitchens and trays for club raffles for 16 years until 2016, slapped club boss Leonard Brunt, from Monterey Keys, and Helensvale Bowls Club Ltd, trading as Club Helensvale, with a defamation claim.

The claim, seeking $250,000 in damages and an injunction restraining Mr Brunt and the club from further publishing alleged slurs against his reputation, was filed in the District Court in Southport last month.

Len Brunt
Len Brunt

Mr Blank alleges his reputation has been injured and he has suffered hurt and embarrassment when Mr Brunt allegedly told club members he was "willing to give police statements" stating that he never had a "$50,000 agreement with Mr Blank", the court claim states.

Mr Brunt is alleged to have made the comments about Mr Blank's meat-supply agreement at a club meeting on October 20 last year.

Mr Blank alleges that the comments conveyed the defamatory meaning that he "has committed forgery" of Mr Brunt's signature and "has created a fraudulent document", among other meanings.

The comments at the meeting came five months after Mr Blank's meat company, N H Blank Pty Ltd, discontinued its $601,090 claim for damages for breach of contract against the club in the District Court in Southport.

Mr Blank alleged that when the club stopped taking delivery of his meat on April 30, 2016, it breached his agreement with Mr Brunt, who allegedly appointed N H Blank Pty Ltd as the sole meat supplier to the club for five years.

The deal was allegedly worth $763,036 over the five years, the breach of contract claim states.

In its defence, which was filed before the case was discontinued, the club argued that it denied entering into a service agreement to receive meat from Mr Blank's company, and it submitted that the agreement was not "authorised" by the club's board, it was not signed by two directors of the club, and the club did not admit that the signature on the agreement "was placed by Len Brunt".

In his reply, Mr Blank's company submitted that Mr Brunt's signature on the 2014 service agreement was genuine because it "was witnessed" by the club's duty manager.

Mr Blank is a former long-time member of Club Helensvale. He is understood to have quit the club as a result of the falling out over the meat-supply contract.

In December 2016, Mr Blank's business Hope Island Gourmet Meats posted on Facebook to remind customers that the business was no longer "a supplier or associated with the supply of meat trays or meat at Club Helensvale".

Mr Brunt states on the club website that he has been CEO since 1994.

Mr Blank declined to comment when approached by The Sunday Mail.

Club Helensvale and Mr Brunt did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Neil Blank
Neil Blank