Estranged wife of retired racing driver demands half of £11m family fortune

A retired racing car driver is being taken to court by his estranged wife after she was left with ‘almost nothing’ of the £11.4 million family fortune.

Following divorce proceedings, Anita Brack, 51, was left with just £500,000 while former IndyCar champion, Kenny Brack, 52, took more than £10 million in the Family Division of the London court. 

Anita claimed she was made to sign a pre-nup ahead of their marriage in December 2000.

She is now demanding that half the family money should be hers after the couple divorced after two children and 15 years of marriage.

A divorce judge has rejected her claim for an equal share of the money due to her signing the agreement in full knowledge of what they meant.

Mr and Mrs Brack both filed for divorce – the husband in Sweden and wife in the UK – in February 2015 and separated a month later. 

Mr Justice Francis in the Family Court said, ‘I do not believe it to be fair, after a marriage of this length and with these contributions and these children, for the wife to be left with almost nothing and for the husband to be left with almost everything.

‘The overwhelming majority of the assets were generated during the marriage.

‘I have found that the wife did understand that she was signing a pre-nuptial agreement that would govern the financial consequences of the marriage if it ended.

‘The court should accord respect to the decision of a married couple as to the manner in which their financial affairs should be regulated.’

 

Man is in bitter court battle after his mother, 84, wrote him out of her will

An Oxford professor is in the midst of a £1.25 million High Court battle after his mother cut him out of her will before she died.

Professor Christopher Gosden said his mother Jean Weddell, a distinguished physician, had ‘resolved’ to leave him her Edwardian home in Kennington, south London.

However, after she started a relationship with a female lawyer 37 years her junior, she tore up her will from a decade earlier.

The couple formed a civil partnership in 2007 and by the time Ms Weddell died in 2013, aged 84, she left nothing to her son. Documents lodged at London’s High Court revealed that Ms Weddell gifted much of her estate to her partner.

Professor Gosden, who was given up for adoption by his mother in the 1950s has launched a High Court fight after discovering his mother’s home had been sold without his knowledge in 2010.

Professor Gosden and his wife are suing solicitors who he says were responsible for drawing up the trust agreement, claiming they bungled it  by leaving a loophole which allowed his mother to sell her house without his knowledge. The full trial is set to last four days and will commence later this year.

Husband fined for Blue Badge fraud

A man has been fined after he was found to be using his wife’s Blue Badge for his own benefit.

James Mason initially claimed that he had dropped his wife off at an appointment but later admitted that he had lied.

Blue Badges allow a disabled person to park closer to their home or destination, and can only be displayed by another person if the badge holder is present and is being dropped off or collected.

Mr Mason pleaded guilty by post and at Luton Magistrates’ court he was sentenced and ordered to pay fines totalling £510 due to the breach of Section 117(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

 

Lord Bragg Granted Divorce

Writer and broadcaster Lord Bragg, 79, and his wife Catherine Haste have been granted a divorce after a 44-year-marriage.

Judge Anne Hudd granted a decree nisi at a 50-second hearing in the Central Family Court in London.

Neither Catherine Haste nor Melvyn Bragg were present at the hearing.

Paperwork showed their marriage was solemnised at a register office in Hampstead in December 1973.

Lord Bragg’s wife had petitioned for divorce on the grounds of “two years’ separation by consent.”

Lord Bragg consented to divorce on the grounds that the marriage had “broken down irretrievably.”

‘Disabled’ magistrate in £26k benefit fraud

A “deceitful” former magistrate has been jailed after she lied about her mobility to cheat the benefits system out of more than £26,000.

Sandra Howell, 43, fraudulently claimed the benefits while working as a domestic cleaner in Greater Manchester.

The former Stockport magistrate was brought into court in a wheelchair, but footage was played to the jury showing her walking across the court precincts.

CCTV surveillance footage also showed her walking around at the Trafford Centre shopping mall, faster than other shoppers and also working on her driveway.

Howell was convicted of two fraud offences following a trial and was jailed for nine months at Liverpool Crown Court.

Judge David Aubrey, QC, said,

“You were administering the law, presiding over cases and sitting in judgement on those before you, no doubt on occasions having to determine whether the evidence was so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence could be justified.

“No doubt on occasions having defendants in front of you charged with offences for which you now fall to be sentenced.

“During much of that time while you were supposedly administering the law you were breaking the law, repeatedly committing criminal acts by defrauding the state.

“You were stealing from the state. Between February 2013 and October 2016 you were paid higher rate Disability Living Allowance and received £26,539, money that you were not entitled to.”

 

Mother and Son in Battle over Estate

A mother and her estranged son are in a courtroom battle over a family property.

Pamela Moore and her son Stephen Moore are disputing a 65-acre Grade II listed Manor Farmhouse and estate worth £10 million.

The court heard that Pamela Moore and her son had a strained relationship since he was young.

The matter was exacerbated when Stephen acquired a half share of the farm estate from his uncle in recognition of his commitment to the land, and used money from the partnership to buy himself a sports car which his mother sais was “overly frivolous.”

In 2012, Stephen learned he had been written out of his parent’s mirror wills and that his father had disinherited him of the other half of the farm estate.

That share of the estate was left to Pamela Moore if he died before her. This £5 million share of the estate would then go to Stephen’s sister Julie and her husband.

In 2016, Stephen successfully challenged this decision, claiming that his father had advanced dementia.

In the High Court case, Judge Simon Monty said that Stephen had worked on the farm since childhood, and was entitled to the whole farm.

Mrs Moore has now taken the battle to the Court of Appeal stating that the decision was unfair on her daughter Julie saying the “upsetting family dispute’ has left them “bankrupt in all but name.”

A judgment is expected at a later date.

 

Princess Tessy of Luxembourg represents herself in High Court divorce battle

Princess Tessy of Luxembourg is representing herself at the High Court in London in her divorce trial.

 

Princess Tessy’s marriage to His Royal Highness, Prince Louis Xavier Marie Guillaume of Luxembourg has come to an end after a ten year marriage.

 

After their marriage when he was just 19, Prince Louis renounced his succession rights to the throne.

Speaking outside court, the princess did not explain why she had chosen to represent herself.

 In court, she addressed Mr Justice McDonald in English.

The Family Division trial lasted several days.

Mr Justice McDonald is expected to make decisions on how money and assets should be split in the near future.

He said Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, both 32, could be named in media coverage of the case, but ruled to stop the reporting of financial and personal details.

 

Landlord fined £14,900 for abandoning hotel

A landlord who did not repair a decaying former hotel has been fined £14,900.

Teeside Magistrates’ Court found Rajesh Kumar Gupta guilty of failing to repair roofing and guttering at the former Royal Hotel, in Loftus. He had been ordered to make the repairs repetitively by Redcar and Cleveland Council.

 

Gupta did not attend court and was convicted in his absence.

 

Andrew White, prosecuting on behalf of Redcar and Cleveland Council, said, “He was given ample warning but, unfortunately, it did not have the desired effect.”

 

Gupta was ordered to repair or replace the guttering and the boarding on the windows. He was further told to paint the boards to match the colour of the building, replace missing roof and ridge tiles, remove waste, litter and vegetation from the land, replace the main door frame and steps and repair all the window sills.

 

Gupta was subsequently ordered to pay the maximum £100 fine for every day he’d failed to carry out the repairs which came to a total of £14,900 with a victim surcharge of £170 and court costs of £408.98 – a total of £15,478,98.