Lucy Blyth, 52, (pictured outside court) claimed her rich lover, Charles ‘Biff’ Caudle, promised to make her a millionaire one day
The fiancee of an eccentric helicopter-flying tycoon has lost a court fight with the businessman’s ex-wife over a share of his £8.6m fortune.
Lucy Blyth, 52, claimed her rich lover, Charles ‘Biff’ Caudle, promised to make her a millionaire one day, telling her: ‘Don’t worry you will have a mil’, darling.’
But the mother-of-three was left empty-handed after his death in 2016, despite him having previously proposed marriage and named her as a beneficiary in his will.
The model railway-obsessed tycoon’s money was channeled into a secret offshore trust after he died, destined for his son, Jamie, a court heard.
Ms Blyth, who started seeing Mr Caudle in 2008, insisted that she should at least get the tycoon’s £300,000 bungalow, in which she and her children have lived since 2010, close to his 39-acre country estate in Brixham, Devon.
She told Central London County Court: ‘He said I would always have a roof over my head,’, adding that he also promised during their romance that she would one day ‘have a mil’.
She refused to get out of the property when ordered to by the tycoon’s former wife Rebecca Muddeman, who divorced her husband in 2007.
Ms Muddeman, who was executor of Mr Caudle’s estate – then sued Ms Blyth for trespassing. Now Judge Sara Langley has thrown out Ms Blyth’s claim to the bungalow based on the tycoon’s alleged ‘promise’ to her and ruled she cannot stay in the property.
It has left Ms Blyth empty-handed and facing the loss of her family home as well as a £78,000 lawyers’ bill.
The court heard that Charles Caudle made his £8.6m pile in the world of IT and other business ventures, despite starting out as a humble lorry driver.
He ended his days the owner of a sumptuous riverside mansion, known as Woods House, in Stoke Gabriel, Devon – complete with 39 acres of land and its own helipad.
Ms Blyth refused to get out of the bungalow (right) when ordered to by the tycoon’s former wife Rebecca Muddeman (left), who divorced her husband in 2007
Mr Caudle, who flew his own chopper from the £4m property, was also a passionate model railway fan and used to bring his vintage set down from the attic to play with it.
Those who knew him described him as ‘astute and tough’ but ‘lovable’, although he had a sharp eye for detail and was prone to being a ‘control freak’.
Rebecca Muddeman, 56, who divorced Charles Caudle in 2007, is the mother of their son, Jamie.
The tycoon’s relationship with Ms Blyth began the year after the divorce, when she and her kids moved into his mansion and he proposed marriage.
Ms Blyth, herself a successful businesswoman, later moved out of Wood House into Mr Caudle’s bungalow with her children in September 2010, and has stayed put ever since.
Charles Caudle was the owner of a sumptuous riverside mansion, known as Woods House, in Stoke Gabriel, Devon – complete with 39 acres of land and its own helipad
She said Charles repeatedly made clear to her that the bungalow was her home and, having been diagnosed with throat cancer, said he had written a letter of wishes stating she should get the property and assuring her she had nothing to worry about.
But no such letter of wishes was ever found, said the judge.
And whilst she was named as a beneficiary of his estate in his last will, by the time Mr Caudle died his £8.6m fortune was tied up in an offshore trust dubbed ‘The Boomerang’, leaving his estate effectively empty.
In the absence of the letter, Lucy’s claim to the bungalow is based on Mr Caudle having allegedly promised her she would have the property and her having then acted to her own detriment on the basis of that promise.
Ms Blyth claimed that, although her relationship with the tycoon had its ups and downs, his promise held good and they remained in a ‘close, committed and loving relationship’ right up until his death.
Ms Muddeman, who was executor of Mr Caudle’s estate – sued Ms Blyth for trespassing for refusing to leave the property (pictured)
In the years after she moved into Greenway Road, Charles Caudle repeatedly stressed to her and others that it was her ‘home’, she told the court.
She had relied on his continuing promise that she would have the property and poured thousands of pounds of her own money into repairs, she told the judge.
Explaining why they stopped living together, she told the judge she relocated to the bungalow because Mr Caudle found it hard coping with her three children as well as his own son.
‘Biff was in love with me but we both found our circumstances and lives extremely difficult to manage,’ she said.
‘It was a romantic relationship, but we could not live together and therefore we could not marry.’
Mr Caudle had been adamant that he would always provide a roof over her head, she said, and added: ‘he was trying to help me secure a safe place where I could bring up my children.’
He also told her he would eventually make her rich, she claimed.
But Ms Muddeman insisted any romantic connection between her ex-husband and Ms Blyth had ended when she left Wood House.
The ex-wife’s barrister, Estelle Lear, claimed the relationship between Mr Caudle and Ms Blyth was all over by 2010 and that any ‘promise’ relating to the property ended there.
She highlighted recordings made of Ms Blyth doing a ‘spiritual reading’ with a clairvoyant in 2014, in which she declared: ‘There’s no part of my being that wants to be with Charles any more.’
Ms Blyth pointed out that the tycoon referred to her as his ‘fiancée’ in his last will of March 2014, in which she was named as a beneficiary.
But Judge Sara Langley found that, in the absence of any letter of wishes being found, Ms Blyth could not make out her claim she was promised the house and has no right to remain living there.
‘They did become engaged, but the wedding never took place – Charles called off the engagement in 2008 and terminated their relationship,’ she said.
‘I accept, and find as a result, that the relationship he had with Lucy ended many years before his death.
‘There were no significant legacies for Lucy and the will does not leave the bungalow to her.
‘There is no documentary evidence Charles ever intended her to benefit from his estate, save as a residuary beneficiary.’
The judge said Charles Caudle was a ‘control freak’ who amassed hundreds of notebooks, ‘particularly in respect of financial matters.’
But there was no written trace of him bequeathing the bungalow to his ex-lover, the court heard.
The judge made an order for possession of the property in favour of Mr Caudle’s estate, directing she must get out by November 29.
Mrs Muddeman in her evidence said she would have ‘honoured’ any bequests from her ex to Lucy had documentary evidence been discovered.
As well as ordering her out of her home, the judge said Ms Blyth must pick up the £78,000 legal costs bill for the case.
- Dr. Dre ordered to pay $300K monthly spousal support to estranged wife Nicole Young amid divorce battle
- PLATELL'S PEOPLE: Stop hiding, Andrew, and fight off US sex charges
- For Richer And Richest: Inside The Billion-Dollar Marriages, Open Relationships And Bitter Divorces Of The Forbes 400
- Michael Jordan admits Australian Luc Longley shouldn't have been erased from The Last Dance
- Prince Andrew latest: Duke’s legal team dispute he was served lawsuit papers amid claims he is ‘hiding behind’ the Queen
- Beyond Britney: Abuse, Exploitation, And Death Inside America’s Guardianship Industry
- The Best Action Movies on Hulu Right Now (September 2021) | Digital Trends
- National Lottery latest: HUGE £15m Lotto jackpot to be won TONIGHT as Brits urged to check EuroMillions tickets
- THE YEAR OF EUROSLEAZE
- How A 'Deviant' Philosopher Built Palantir, A CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut
- Meghan Markle news: Meg & Prince Harry ‘trying to copy Obamas’ with TIME 100 cover as Duchess is ‘primed for politics’
- VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 25
- EuroMillions results LIVE: Lottery numbers revealed with £14m jackpot up for grabs plus Thunderball draw
- Royals news latest – Prince Andrew ‘hit with sex abuse legal papers’ & hides at Balmoral despite Beatrice’s baby
- HOW 42 ACTORS AND 2 DIRECTORS ASSEMBLED 'NICHOLAS NICKLEBY'
- National Lottery latest: Lotto double rollover winning numbers revealed as £33m jackpot to be won Friday
- They Both Fought To Break Free From Guardianship. Only One Escaped.
- Inauguration Updates: Senate Makes First Biden Cabinet Confirmation
- Why Everything Is Getting Louder
- Billionaire Philip Green Sheds $3 Billion Amid British Retail Apocalypse
Eccentric helicopter-flying tycoon’s fiancée, 52, loses her court fight with his ex-wife, 56, over a share of his £8.6m fortune have 1472 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at November 11, 2019. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.