Life moves on and relationships can come and go, so it is always vital to ensure that you have an up to date will which truly reflects your wishes. In a case which strikingly made that point, a woman was sent to prison for forging her partner’s will in an attempt to stop his estranged wife from inheriting everything.

After the man took his own life, his partner created a false will which she claimed to have discovered in his fishing jacket. She enlisted the help of two friends who agreed to say that they had witnessed the document. The man had in fact died without making a will and his £180,000 estate would therefore have passed lawfully to his next of kin; the wife he was in the process of divorcing.

The woman’s deception was uncovered five years after her partner died, following a police investigation. She was subsequently found guilty of conspiring to make a false instrument, plotting to pervert the course of justice and fraud. She was jailed for 42 months after the two witnesses confessed and testified against her.

In challenging her convictions before the Court of Appeal, the woman argued that certain remarks made by the trial judge had overwhelmingly prejudiced her defence. The Court accepted that the trial could and should have been better handled. However, in dismissing the woman’s appeal, it concluded that she had suffered no real unfairness and that her convictions were safe.

For further information, please contact Kirran Kauser on 0121 746 3300 or email k.kauser@sydneymitchell.co.uk.

 

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