Judge says rich couple’s divorce battle a waste of time

A judge has described a divorcing couple’s battle over assets as a “scandalous waste of court time.”

Barbara Cooke, 58, and Michael Parker, 55 have reportedly spent almost £2m on lawyers’ fees while fighting over assets worth £6.6m.

Mr Justice Holman said that the pair had “completely lost touch with reality.”

The dispute was heard at a pre-trial hearing in the family division of the high court.

Mr Justice Holman said, “They have spent a third of their wealth slugging it out. These people have completely lost touch with reality. I don’t know where the responsibility lies; it’s probably shared.

“This is heading for catastrophe.”

Mr Justice Holman added that he estimated another £200,000 would be spent on lawyers if the divorce went to trial.

“This whole case is a scandalous waste of court time. Sometimes one can see cases where people are just absolutely determined to go on and on and on. I don’t know on which side the fault lies but this seems to be that sort of case.”

“I have reached the conclusion that there is no credible explanation for the fire on the evidence before the court other than it was set by persons on the direction of Mr Parker.”