Ex-prison officer ‘lied to avoid paying ex’
A ‘dishonest’ ex-prison officer tried to wriggle out of handing her ex-partner his rightful share of the house where they lived, a judge decided.
Louise Jervis even resorted to ‘fabricating’ copies of a builder’s invoices to support her claim that the four-bedroomed house in Staffordshire was her’s alone.
But a tribunal judge has now condemned her as a ‘dishonest’ witness and upheld Richard Whitehouse’s claim to a stake in the property.
Both were prison officers when they got together in 2001.
In 2009 he put £25,000 towards acquiring the house in Linwood Drive, Hednesford. They split up in 2015.
He said the money was an investment and a loan but she insisted that he agreed at the time that it was ‘a gift’.
The property was in Miss Jervis’s sole name but Mr Whitehouse said it was always understood that he would have a share.
Living together in the house ‘as man and wife’, he said he contributed to the mortgage and other expenses.
The DIY enthusiast told the judge he put his money into improving and maintaining the property.
Miss Jervis said Mr Whitehouse had not carried out any improvements, insisting she alone had paid for work carried out by a local builder.
However copies of a builder’s invoices that Miss Jervis put forward as evidence that he had not improved the property were ‘not genuine’, Judge Dray ruled.
The Judge, during the hearing in London, said: “I am satisfied that they have been fabricated by Miss Jervis. All in all, I consider that Miss Jervis gave dishonest evidence.”
Mr Whitehouse is claiming just over 20 per cent of the property, which was worth £175,000 in 2009, to reflect the £25,000 and his contribution to repaying a loan.
The precise share due to Mr Whitehouse will be assessed at a further hearing - unless he and Miss Jervis can now reach agreement.