Will claim a ‘bizarre’ imag­in­ing

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS -

A MAN, who claimed his se­men had been stolen, left part of his es­tate to a woman he wrongly be­lieved was his daugh­ter, in one of the state’s more bizarre will cases.

A judge has ef­fec­tively torn up the last will of Des­mond Neil Chap­man, who had delu­sions that his se­men was stolen at gun­point and used to im­preg­nate a woman who gave birth to his daugh­ter.

Chap­man, who died at the age of 70 in Stan­thorpe in 2015, left his es­tate to two neph­ews, five char­i­ties and the ma­jor share to the woman he be­lieved was his daugh­ter in his 2013 will.

But in the state’s

Supreme Court, it was re­vealed the woman was not his daugh­ter and Mr Chap­man, who had di­vorced, had no chil­dren. In 2013, Mr Chap­man made his fourth will, telling a Stan­thorpe so­lic­i­tor a de­tailed tale about how he came to have a daugh­ter. The so­lic­i­tor noted some of Mr Chap­man’s in­struc­tions un­der a head­ing “Bizarre cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing chil­dren”.

Mr Chap­man told the so­lic­i­tor that in about 1972 he took a call from a man called Sandy Trout, whom he be­lieved had be­come the head of a Queens­land de­part­ment. He said when he went to see Mr Trout at a house in the north­ern Bris­bane sub­urb of McDowall, four peo­ple bailed him up and held ma­chine guns to his head, Supreme Court doc­u­ments re­veal.

Mr Chap­man told the so­lic­i­tor Mr Trout then mas­tur­bated him and col­lected his se­men. He was later driven away and dumped. He said he had seen women lined up on the front ve­ran­dah of the house, “like cows wait­ing to be ar­ti­fi­cially in­sem­i­nated”.

The so­lic­i­tor said Mr Chap­man said he later got a call from a mar­ried woman who said she was preg­nant with his child, telling him: “Sandy Trout got me again”.

Mr Chap­man said he be­lieved he was the child’s fa­ther and saw her four or five times while she was grow­ing up, but no longer knew how to con­tact her.

In a statu­tory dec­la­ra­tion sworn this year, the so­lic­i­tor said while he had been “some­what in­cred­u­lous” about the story, he was im­pressed with the de­tail and did not doubt Mr Chap­man’s tes­ta­men­tary ca­pac­ity. “As strange as the cir­cum­stances sounded, they ap­peared to be his clear and gen­uine mem­ory of those cir­cum­stances. The cir­cum­stances ... seemed to be the­o­ret­i­cally pos­si­ble,” he said. It was only af­ter Mr Chap­man’s death and pro­bate on his 2013 will was granted in 2015 that the ex­ecu­tors ques­tioned his ca­pac­ity, af­ter learn­ing that he had suf­fered from long-term schizophre­nia.

They read his will in­struc­tions, in­clud­ing the bizarre story told to the so­lic­i­tor, and tracked down the woman named in the will as Mr Chap­man’s daugh­ter, find­ing he was not her fa­ther. The court heard his hos­pi­tal med­i­cal records showed he had “long­stand­ing, en­trenched delu­sional be­liefs”.

Bar­ris­ter Richard Wil­liams, on be­half of the ex­ecu­tors, told Jus­tice Anne Lyons that Mr Chap­man’s pre­vi­ous will, made in 2003, left his es­tate only to var­i­ous char­i­ties and did not men­tion a daugh­ter.

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