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Calumny unmasked - son wins his fight to prove his sister had lied to their father

In an unusual case relying on the doctrine of fraudulent calumny, the High Court in Bristol has given judgment finding that Sonia Whittle had deliberately poisoned the mind of her father, Gerald, against her brother, David, so as to encourage Gerald to change his will in her favour. 

Although Sonia had been barred from participating at the trial in person, the Judge had no difficulty in finding that she had deliberately set out on a campaign of lies and misinformation which forced her elderly father's hand into changing his will just weeks before he died. 

Sonia had (falsely) told her father that David had stolen money from his mother-in-law, and that he was "living off the immoral earnings of a prostitute", in an attempt to smear the character of David's wife also. The moral outrage those allegations provoked in Gerald persuaded him to change his will. 

Fraudulent calumny is a rare claim in will disputes, arising only where someone poisons the mind of the will-maker, by making statements which they know are false (or have no reasonable belief in their truth) about another person, with the effect that the will-maker then changes their will on the assumption that the lies they have been told are true. 

Here, Sonia poisoned the mind of her ailing 92 year old father against David. Gerald then changed his will to cut David out almost completely, leaving David just the contents of his shed (provided he (David) paid to collect the items). Sonia would, if the will had been upheld, have received (with her partner) the whole of the rest of the estate. Fortunately for David, the Judge was able to see through Sonia's deceit and found the will to be invalid. 

Brother wins landmark £1million legal case against his sister who had him cut out of their late father's will by falsely claiming he was a 'psychopath and a criminal'


private wealth disputes