ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
CARDIFF DISTRICT REGISTRY
His Honour Judge Milwyn Jarman QC
sitting as a High Court Judge
Case No: 9CF30096
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| GORDON WORSDELL
|- and -
|(1) GLENYS JOAN GOLLEDGE
(2) ELAINE DALLY
The Respondents were not represented
Hearing date: 13 January 2011
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Rimer :
'… when anything happened to them Gordon would have the greater share, ie one half of the house because of the work he had done. She expected that the other half would be split between myself and my sister Glenys.'
Caroline was there said to be referring solely to the works that Gordon had done to the house and Elaine denied at the trial that he had also paid anything towards its purchase. The judge referred in paragraph 5 of his judgment to the concessions made by the sisters, referring to them as concessions that Gordon:
'… should have a bigger share in the equity than his sisters. Concessions were made in their statements that he is entitled to 50 per cent of the equity in that property with the remainder to be divided between the two of them.'
'To whom it may concern. It has been agreed on this day, 8th February 2002, between [Caroline], [Gordon] and [Gillian], that [Gillian] will move into [the house] when [Caroline] has vacated it to live with son Gordon. Gillian will move in with son William, who already lives there with his nan, [Caroline]. The house in the names of [Caroline] and son [Gordon] is to have [William's] name put on the deed on his eighteenth birthday and [Caroline's] taken off. Despite claims by [Caroline] that Gordon has purchased the property, it is agreed that Gillian will give £24,000 for half the property at £50 per week. This is backed up by [Gordon], to [Caroline]. There is no interest to be added but terms are imposed. Gillian cannot borrow against the house and the house cannot be sold without [Gordon's] consent. Believing this to be a legal binding agreement between the parties above.'
'… it is agreed that I, [Caroline], do sell my half share of [the house] to [Gordon] the full sale price on this day, 5th March 2002, being £48,000. Gordon will pay me my half share of £24,000 at the rate of £200 per month until my death. At the time of my death the remainder will be paid in full into my estate.'
'On this day, 5th March 2002, I, [Gordon], have agreed that [Caroline] shall live on the ground floor of [No 38] for the agreed rent of £40 per week, the rent payable at the time of her death. I, [Caroline], have agreed that I will live at [No 38] at a weekly rent of £40 but I will not have to pay anything until my death, when the total amount of rent owed will be deducted from my estate.'
'I am satisfied, as I have indicated, that there was an actual common intention on the part of [Gordon's] parents and himself that he should have a share of the property over and above that which he was entitled on an intestacy to reflect the monies he paid in 1989 and the works he carried out. Taking the figures which I have referred to and the value at the time, I find that his share, according to that common intention, was 40 per cent of the equity after the works had been carried out.'
'42. I also have reservations about whether the sum of £50 a week was paid every week, as alleged by [Gillian] and [Gordon] for the reasons I have already alluded to in respect of this payment. The documentary evidence, such as there is, is inconsistent with such a payment. It may well be that payments were made from time to time when [Gordon] or [Gillian] saw [Caroline] but I am not satisfied that they were as regular as claimed. In my judgment they amounted to no more than the benefit of occupation.
43. Accordingly, there is no interest in favour of [Gillian], either by way of estoppel or by way of equitable accounting. The same applies to [Gordon]. The result in my judgment, is that the property continued to be held beneficially for [Caroline] subject to the beneficial interest of her son in respect of the contribution and work which he carried out in 40 per cent. That was the extent of the extra share according to the common intention I have found. On death, therefore, the estate was entitled to the remaining 60 per cent to be divided between [Caroline's] daughters and son. The result, in my judgment, is that each of the daughters is entitled to 20 per cent and the son to 60 per cent.
'In first statement Elaine Dally and Glenys Golledge state I should have 50% the remains [sic] 50% shared but having invalidated mother's will should 1/3 each. Thus beating part 36, 60 40 offered.'
What 'statement' that refers to I do not know. Gordon could not produce it, nor, he said, was it before the judge. Once again, the judge cannot be faulted for not placing reliance upon it and there is no reason why the Court of Appeal should place any reliance on Gordon's unsupported assertions about it either. The judge had the sisters' evidence about Gordon's entitlement, he assessed it and made the findings that he did.