23 March 2007
Bullied daughter wins share of inheritance
A daughter has won her share of a £2.5 million inheritance after suing her "controlling and intimidating" father.
Jane Walker, who is a barrister, won the award after the judge ruled she had been bullied into delaying her inheritance by her father Bill Walker who "frightened" her.
Ms Walker and her sister Kate had been left a share of their grandfather's 160-hectare estate in Nottinghamshire, but Mr Walker had received nothing at all.
In response, her father persuaded Ms Walker to sign a document entrusting him with the money, initially until she was 25, and then through a subsequent contract until she was 40.
The woman's father claimed he had been acting in the interest of the girls and had wanted to protect the assets.
However, Judge Kay, who described the case as "immensely sad", ruled that he considered that Mr Walker did have a controlling personality and had intimidated his daughter into her decision.
He said: "At one point the action seemed more reminiscent of an old-fashioned hard-fought divorce than a dispute over a trust with allegation and counter-allegation of conduct or rather misconduct."
Kate Walker had been called as a witness on her fathers' behalf and had previously consented to selling her share of the bequeathed money to her father for £200,000.