Desmond McIntosh said he was dyslexic and had poor literacy skills, and so hadn’t understood that he was signing divorce papers which would leave him with no capital.
The 58 year-old carpenter cared for his wife during the final two years of her life, after she contracted lung cancer and a brain tumour, the London Evening Standard reports. After her death in February 2011, he told the Court of Appeal, he had been appalled to discover that Jennifer divorced him in November 2009.
He claimed his 71 year-old wife hadobtained his signature on the document using “undue influence” and the divorce should be set aside.
The couple, who originally met during a holiday in the Caribbean in 1993, lived in Thamesmead in south east London and ran a carpentry business. Their house was bought using her capital as a deposit and owned under her name. However there had been an oral agreement that they would own the property jointly, he insisted.
But Lord Justice Ryder was unconvinced. The judge refused Mr Desmond permission to appeal, saying he would give reasons at a later date.
Photo of Thamesmead by Stephen Craven via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence