A wealthy plumbing mogul must give his Lithuanian ex-girlfriend a £650,000 house, a London court has ruled.
The couple met in 2004 while she was working as a cleaner in the National Gallery. During their nine-year relationship, the 62 year-old bought her a Bentley worth £160,000 and the two of them would regularly go on holidays to places like Cuba, Alaska and Thailand. He also paid her an annual salary of £93,000 for a job which did not require any work, The Telegraph reports.
She has since become a businesswoman in her own right as well as a model. Soon after their relationship ended, she claimed that their £650,000 second home in Hertfordshire was rightfully hers as it had been given to her as a gift. She was listed as the sole owner of the property when it was first purchased in 2009.
However the businessman objected to his former partner’s assertion, insisting that, as he had paid the deposit and mortgage he should be able to keep the house.
In a hearing at the First-Tier Tribunal in London, Judge Ann McAllister ruled that the house had indeed been a gift. The man had often spent a great deal of money “on what might be described as fripperies”, the judge said in her judgment, and there was no reason she could find why the deposit used to buy the house and “further money to pay the mortgage” should be “put in a different category” to the gifts he had previously given. There was “no doubt” in the judge’s mind that the man had been “extremely generous [during the relationship] and that considerable sums of money passed through his hands”.
But since the breakup, the judge continued, he had “convinced himself that, from the outset, her intentions [had been] to get what she could out of the relationship financially”.
It was clear that his original intention had been for his 47 year-old ex-partner to “own the property legally and beneficially”, she declared.