Will cheat squandered his neighbour’s £275k legacy
A MAN who was made executor of his elderly neighbour’s £275,000 will has squandered almost all the money, the High Court heard yesterday.
Anita Border left half her estate to Emma Cullen and half to another friend, Parminder Gibbs.
But the court heard that after Mrs Border died aged 71, her executor David Loveday, 43 – who is Miss Cullen’s boyfriend – sold the Victorian house which made up most of her wealth and spent the cash at Argos, on Netflix and public transport fares.
Ms Gibbs never received her share because there was only £1,300 left in the estate’s bank account.
Mr Justice Norris warned Loveday he faces up to two years in jail after he admitted contempt of court by failing to fulfil his duties as executor.
The judge said: “The maximum term is a significant sentence. This is serious business.
“No property or monies were handed over and no account was filed or lodged. He did not transfer any property whatsoever. This is a case, at the least, of serious and several breaches of orders of the court and undertakings for which Mr Loveday himself volunteered.”
Hugh Cumber, barrister for Ms Gibbs, said Mrs Border died two years ago, leaving Loveday to organise the sale of the house in Plumstead, south-east London.
He said: “Grave concerns arose as to Mr Loveday’s conduct as administrator.
“What he was required to do was to transfer the property, or 50 per cent of the net proceeds of the property. He has undoubtedly failed to do that. On his own evidence he appears to have squandered the money. It is rather unattractive for Mr Loveday to say, ‘I couldn’t pay over the proceeds of sale because I have spent them’.
“We know he received £275,000 proceeds of sale before tax and sale costs. We need to know where the net proceeds of sale – £222,000 – went.
“It appears to be his position that he has made a substantial payment from the estate’s assets to his partner Emma Cullen.”
Simon Lane, for Loveday, said: “It is clear that the sums in the account were used to defray day-to-day living expenses.” He pointed out that Miss Cullen was entitled to half Mrs Border’s estate and has not been accused of any wrong-doing.
Mr Lane said: “What is likely to become clear is that the money was spent because it was regarded as being partly hers.”
Loveday, of Welling, south-east London, admitted contempt of court on three grounds. The judge adjourned sentencing until next month.
Executor David Loveday outside court yesterday and Mrs Border’s former home in south-east London which he sold