The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found to have had a financial hold over the woman and their children, with the mother claiming she felt ‘enslaved’ and ‘beholden’ to his every whim.
In a recently published judgment by the Family Division of the Royal Court, the man has been ordered to pay the mother £2.5 million to enable her to buy a five-bedroom property in her name comparable to his own house, as well as £10,000 per year to allow their children to see their maternal relatives abroad.
He was also ordered to pay her £2,311 per month, £10,000 for a new car and her court costs.
The case, heard by Judy Marie O’Sullivan, Registrar of the Family Division, was brought by the woman on behalf of her children.
According to the judgment the couple, who never married, were advised to live apart by Children’s Services because of ‘domestic incidents’.
The mother and children moved into another property, with the father paying monthly rent of almost £2,500. He also gave the woman £350 per week, as well as an extra payment to cover school fees and extra-curricular activities.
Giving evidence, the woman said the children’s home was cold, not properly insulated and generally ‘substandard’, with paint peeling off the walls in almost every room.
The man accepted that his children’s new home was ‘vastly inferior’ to his property and that his house was ‘palatial’, particularly when compared to theirs.
Although he said that when he died his children and their mother could relocate to his home, no copy of his will was provided to verify his claim, the court heard.
In her judgment Ms O’Sullivan says: ‘The mother says that not only does he manipulate her but he demands sexual favours in return for money. The father said he had given the mother extra cash but not for sexual favours.
‘In her affidavit she states that last year he would not continue to provide any extra money or clothes unless she performed sexual favours for him.
‘Having heard from both, I find that the father did use his financial hold over the mother for sex.’
During the hearing the mother claimed that when heating fuel ran out in January she contacted the father but it was not replaced until 19 February, something he disputed.
‘As a “doting” mother I find that the mother would have contacted the father about this for the sake of the children,’ the papers say.
‘The father suggested that she was extravagant with fuel and he could not believe she had got through so much fuel, which seems the reason why he withheld heating oil. He conceded that the property does not have good insulation, so it got cold.’
The woman’s lawyers claimed the father, who has a serious health condition, ‘strung along’ the case in an attempt to wear their client down, including by sacking his lawyers, not providing a copy of his will and having his children undertake DNA testing.
Ms O’Sullivan found that it was not a case where the father refused to make provision for his children.
However, she adds in her judgment: ‘It is in the children’s best interests to be provided with a secure family home before their father’s death and as soon as reasonably possible.’