14 October 2011
Revenge from beyond the grave by Caroline Harvey
Geoffrey Boycott’s game may be well and truly over, despite his previous batting skills. Having set up home in the smart and exclusive area of Sandbanks, Dorset, in a house overlooking the harbour with his former lover who was considerably older than him back in 1996, the relationship floundered and he ended up marrying his other long term lover in 2003, after a 20 year relationship with his partner, Mrs A Wyatt. Complicated………………………but the story doesn’t end there.When he bought the house with her, (they originally got together when she was 32 and he 18) the solicitors acting for them in the purchase back in 1996 decided they should buy as ‘joint tenants’ (which means the survivor of them inherits the share of the other upon death), no doubt considering these two were in for the long run. When their relationship ended it seems extraordinary that nothing was done to regulate the terms of the ownership by Mr Boycott, Mrs Wyatt carried on living there and it seems she thought the house worth in excess of three million in 2006 was probably not uppermost in Mr Boycott’s mind. She was clearly planning her revenge which has brought about the current court case!In the meantime in the north of the country Mr Boycott was blissfully unaware that Mrs Wyatt may perhaps have felt a little miffed at being passed over for another lady, and she decided to sever the tenancy which meant that her ‘share’ of the property was severed in equity and the value of it would pass into her estate and not to Mr Boycott who apparently paid for the property! It seems no one told him and he wasn’t served with the document severing the tenancy.Yesterday he strode into the High Court in London apologising to the Judge Mr Justice Vos, the Judge (according to the Daily Mail) ‘apologised’ to Mr Boycott for the ‘obscurity’ of the law which dates back 300 years, saying to a crestfallen Mr Boycott that the law was history and difficult sometimes and that was why he had had to come to Court. Mr Boycott was furious as it was he said ‘always agreed’ that he would inherit the property, but Mrs Wyatt had left her half of the value of the house which was now approaching three million pounds to a niece!! The lawyers denied any liability and argue that it was too late now for Mr Boycott to sue them.What an unhappy state of affairs! Some might argue he deserved it for leaving it all to chance and not ensuring when he instructed his solicitor what his options were and what the outcome of these.might be Clearly he should have bought the property solely as he paid for it and allowed Mrs Wyatt to have a lifetime interest in the same which should have been provided for in his Will. Someone should have told him after he left Mrs Wyatt it was highly probable he wouldn’t be inheriting her share of the house…………………..As I write this, I have heard he has lost his case! Mr Boycott has commented that ‘he now considers the whole idea of joint tenancies ‘ridiculous’………..Wonder whether the present Mrs Boycott would agree…???!