Judge orders tycoon to sell off his multi-million pound country estate

Judge orders rag and bone tycoon to sell off his multi-million pound country estate and give half to his daughter after bitter family court battle

  • Charlie Hughes, 91, who as a rag and bone man, built up a business in Yorkshire
  • He and wife Nora bought sprawling country estate in Edlington, near Doncaster
  • 在 2015 family tensions boiled over in a row and the clan split into two camps
  • Charlie sided with son John, 62, but Nora backed daughter Lisa Pickering, 60
  • Nora died aged 87 在 2017 and left her half of the house and 25 acres to Lisa
  • 约翰, supported by Charlie, objected but a judge has now ruled in Lisa’s favour
  • Charlie Hughes, 91, built up a lucrative metal recycling business in Yorkshire

    Charlie Hughes, 91, built up a lucrative metal recycling business in Yorkshire

    A judge has ordered a rags-to-riches tycoon to sell off his multi-million pound country estate and give half to his daughter after a bitter family court battle.

    Charlie Hughes, 91, who started out as a rag and bone man in 伦敦‘s East End, built up a lucrative metal recycling business in Yorkshire along with wife Nora.

    The family fortunes were transformed in 1981 when they received a £1million compulsory purchase order payoff for land they ownedworth around £4million in today’s money.

    They invested part of the cash in a sprawling country estate in Edlington, near Doncaster, comprising of several houses and hundreds of acres of woodlandin which a buried hoard of Roman silver was uncovered in the 1930s.

    The couple had three children but ‘Nora’s relationship with Charles was a strained one because of Charlesextra-marital affairs over the years,’ the High Court heard.

    在 2015 family tensions boiled over and the clan split into two campsCharlie sided with son John, 62, but Nora backed daughter Lisa Pickering, 60, who the court heard was ‘the apple of her mother’s eye’.

    When Nora, who ‘ruled the roost’ 在家, 去世 87 在 2017, she left her half of the house and 25 acres of remaining woodland to Lisa but Johnbacked by father Charliechallenged this in court and insisted it was not his mother’s to give.

    He claimed his parents had bought the estate for him and wife Lorraine in 1984 with Charlie agreeing with a ‘horse dealer’s handshakethat it would be in the parentsnames but eventually ‘willedto Johnwho spent £100,000 transforming it from a dilapidated wreck.

    但, after a bitter High Court battle, Judge Andrew Lenon has now ruled in Lisa’s favour and ordered that most of the family’s estate be sold off with her getting half the proceeds.

    Judge Lenon said: ‘Whatever Charles may have told John, it is clear to me on the evidence that Nora, WHO “ruled the roost”, never agreed that John and Lorraine would become the owners of Wood House and that she always made this abundantly clear to members of her family.

    The court heard Nora and Charlie had built a fortune, having started off with a ‘rag tradebusiness in the East End which had been inherited from Charlie’s father and grandfather.

    They had three children and married in 1982, living together until 1993, after which they remained on good terms, but living apart.

    In evidence, Charlie told the judge: ‘Whatever else happened we had a bond, but I did feel guilty about the affairs and it meant that I tended to over-compensate in some ways. I would let Nora make the final decision about things in order that I had a quiet life.

    ‘If it was a business decision or involved a large sum of money we would discuss together. But anything relating to my daughter Lisa, Nora decided and I would usually back down if I disagreed. She was the apple of Nora’s eye. Nora would always stick up for her whatever she did.

    Lisa Pickering

    John Hughes

    在 2015 family tensions boiled over and the clan split into two campsCharlie sided with son John, 62, (对) but Nora backed daughter Lisa Pickering, 60, (剩下) who the court heard was ‘the apple of her mother’s eye’.

    Edlington Wood House was a wreck when the family bought it and surrounding woods and farmland for £300,000 in 1984, but John spent a six-figure sum improving it, living there with his wife Lorraine until their separation in 2005.

    The parents had always intended that Lisa and John would get equal shares of their fortune, with their second son David, 52, getting £1million, before Nora had a change of heart close to her death, 法院听到.

    She severed her joint ownership of the house and woodland with her estranged husband and changed her will, leaving her interest in it to Lisa alone.

    The case reached court after Lisa asked for an order forcing sale of the properties so that she can pocket her inheritance.

    But John tried to block the move, insisting that the house had been promised to himself and Lorraine by his parents.

    John and Charlie told the judge that there was nothing written down on paper about the agreement because it had been an oral promise sealed with a handshake.

    ‘I promised it to Johnny. We were horse dealers and if we shake a hand, that is a deal,’ Charlie told the court in evidence.

    Edlington Wood House was a wreck when the family bought it and surrounding woods and farmland for £300,000 in 1984, but John spent a six-figure sum improving it, living there with his wife Lorraine until their separation in 2005

    Edlington Wood House was a wreck when the family bought it and surrounding woods and farmland for £300,000 in 1984, but John spent a six-figure sum improving it, living there with his wife Lorraine until their separation in 2005

    John said he had paid for renovations to the house on the back of the promise that it would be his.

    But rejecting the father and son’s case, 法官说: ‘In my judgment, the reason that there are no documents evidencing the existence of the alleged 1984 agreement is that there was no such agreement.

    他加了: ‘John and Lorraine may have hoped that they would one day acquire Wood House and the 25 英亩, but the fact that they did not take steps to ensure that the property was transferred or that the wills provided for the property to be left to them suggests that they knew full well that Nora would never agree to this.

    The judge accepted Lisa’s case that the estate was half her mum’s and that she would have wanted her daughter to get her fair share.

    And he went on to make an order for sale of the majority of the estate, including Wood House.

    Lisa had also applied for a court order to sell a property known as Pond Field Housewhere her dad livesor alternatively to receive rent from him.

    The judge dealt with this by making an order for the house sale to take effect ‘within a reasonable time after Charles’ “警方接到通知,一辆汽车在早上 7.50 左右撞到一棵树上, but ruled that he has the right to live there rent free for the rest of his days.

    He also ordered that a collection of valuable chattelsincluding a Steinway baby grand pianoremoved from Pond Field House after Nora’s death should be returned to Charlie.

    In relation to the Steinway, Charlie claimed he bought it for his wife’s 80th birthday ‘because she wanted him to learn the piano’, 法院听到.

    It was bought with cash from their joint account and ‘passed by survivorshipto him when she died, 他坚持.

    The piano was removed from Pond Field House by Lisa after Nora’s death as it had been left to her in her mother’s will.

    But Judge Lenon said by law the piano still belongs to Charlie, as it was jointly owned by both husband and wife.

    He also ruled that the other items, including a collection of expensive watches and three oil paintings, also removed from Pond Field House should be returned to Charlie.