Guy and Jules Sebastian are pictured together
Guy Sebastian’s mansion is perched on an enormous block more than three times the size of the average Sydney home.
It has all the features of a luxury resort and cost him about $7million to buy, demolish and re-build.
But the imposing structure, cheekily dubbed ‘Fort Guy’ by some, has been a growing point of tension between the singer and his neighbour Phillip Hanslow since its inception in 2017.
At the time, Hanslow described Sebastian’s architecturally-designed house as an ‘ugly fortress’ that buttons right up to the side of the small home his wife, Carol, owns next door.
He also claimed a ‘brick missile’ from the demolition of the existing home had damaged their property.
Hanslow’s complaints made headlines, but there are no records of him making a submission to Randwick City Council to contest the construction of Sebastian’s palace.
Now, the neighbours are embroiled in a bitter legal battle – with the inaugural Australian Idol winner filing a restraining order against the 66-year-old, who has also been charged with intentionally damaging a fence on the boundary of their joining blocks.
Hanslow appeared in Waverley Local Court on Thursday with his frail wife, Carol, to ask a magistrate to adjourn the matter until he recovered from bowel surgery and was able to seek legal representation.
He told Daily Mail Australia outside court that he would likely have to sell the property because he and his wife are ‘too old’ to deal with the stress of the situation.
Sebastian’s property sits on a 1400m/sq block, while the Hanslows have a 325m/sq parcel. The average property size in Sydney is about 400m/sq.
Guy Sebastian is pictured at ‘Fort Guy’ – his cement mansion in Maroubra, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs
The house is built for entertainment, with a grand piano sitting pride of place in the central foyer on a raised platform, so Sebastian can entertain family and friends (pictured)
The imposing structure, which has all the features of a luxury resort, towers over his neighbours
The Battle Scars hitmaker and his wife, Jules, bought the property for more than $3million in 2013 when it was already a large five-bedroom, four-bathroom bungalow with a heated pool and tennis court.
But the then-newlyweds wanted to make it their own, promptly submitting development applications to raze the existing structure and erect their own cement palace – at an extraordinary cost.
According to applications submitted to Randwick City Council in 2014, the demolition cost $50,000 and excavating the land a further $42,000.
Development costs amounted to $3.3million, which included $2.8million for construction costs, and a further $1.5million fit out.
The result was a concrete monolith that overlooks Sydney’s eastern suburbs, the Pacific Ocean and towers over many of the smaller neighbouring properties.
‘We didn’t grow up in houses like this,’ Sebastian previously told Are Media.
‘Every day, we look at each other and say, ‘Why is this us?’ But there is beauty in feeling like an alien in your own space. You never fail to appreciate it.’
While the front of the property appears stark, grey and desert-like, with small windows and a curious cactus plant that protrudes from the pebbles in the front yard, the back of the structure is sun-drenched with enormous windows.
The house is constructed in a U-shape and is build for entertainment, with a grand piano sitting pride of place in the central foyer on a raised platform, so Sebastian can entertain family and friends.
Mr Hanslow arrived at Waverley Local Court in his old Ford 4WD on Thursday morning, with his frail, terminally ill wife
Sebastian’s house is pictured left, alongside Hanslow’s house (right). Hanslow’s property is small, and ends where the grass begins on the right
‘Fort Guy’ is the ultimate enterntainer – built in a U shape at a total cost of $7million
The couple spent Thursday inviting musicians into their home, running short errands, and uploading photos of designer outfits to Instagram – while Hanslow struggled to get his terminally-ill wife into court.
The pensioner is accused of threatening to kill the singer over an argument that started over a fence. He allegedly told the pop star ‘I’ll put a bullet in your head’ while wielding a hammer during an incident on January 23.
But Hanslow disputes that and believes he actually said ‘one day someone will put a bullet in your head’.
Police raided Hanslow’s home in the following days, arriving at the elderly man’s house while he was on the toilet.
Hanslow was arrested, charged and hit with an apprehended violence order for Sebastian’s protection.
There was a media circus outside the court as Hanslow arrived on Thursday and helped his frail wife Carol out of their banged-up Ford F150 4WD.
He clutched an oxygen tank to help her breathe as he helped her into a wheelchair, claiming to Daily Mail Australia that his neighbour was a ‘vengeful’ person.
Sebastian knocked down the five-bedroom bungalow that was on the property when he and Jules bought it for $3.3million in 2013
‘He’s paranoid about security and has a large security camera outside so anywhere I go outside on the property, he can see…’ Mr Hanslow claimed.
‘We’re going to have to sell. We’re too old for this.’
His wife wore an electronic pulse monitor on her finger, and expressed concerns that her heart rate was too high as they entered the courthouse.
The elderly couple waited outside the courtroom – with Mrs Hanslow struggling with her breathing – for about an hour before their matter was heard.
When they finally entered a courtroom, the court officer raised his voice and said, ‘Whoever is responsible for that beeping, can you turn it off?’
Members of the public sitting in the gallery had to explain it was Mrs Hanslow’s pulse machine.
The court officer apologized, but the elderly woman felt self-conscious and turned the device off.
Mr Hanslow got a wheelchair for his wife out of the boot, before he helped her out of the car and into the chair. Her breathing tube was visible
He did not enter a plea and his matter was adjourned until March 9. The AVO against him and his bail conditions were extended.
‘I tried to get legal aid to represent me [but] there was no one available,’ Mr Hanslow told the court.
He also said he needed to go to hospital on February 16 to have his ‘infected bowel’ removed.
Outside court afterwards, Mr Hanslow was asked whether he was surprised to have been charged.
‘I’m surprised by the whole ordeal and I’m surprised the police even arrested me,’ he responded.
Tensions have been high between the neighbours since inception of the mammoth project in 2017
‘They broke into the back of the house, smashed down the door and came into the house while I was the toilet and arrested me and then took me off the police station and I spent six and half hours in the lockups over just a heated argument between the neighbor, which I think is really overboard.’
In a stroke of luck, Mr Hanslow’s case captured the attention of celebrity lawyer Bryan Wrench, from Murphy’s Lawyers, who was in Court 2 for another matter by sheer coincidence.
Wrench has had a number of high profile clients including music icon Shannon Noll, NRL star Sam Burgess, and Wolf Creek actor John Jarrett. On Thursday morning, he expressed interest in taking on Hanslow’s case.
‘It’s a bit grandiose to think these guys [the Hanslows] are a threat. I don’t normally do this, in fact I never have before, but I would be happy to represent him,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.