A husband who slaughtered his wife’s pet ram after a heated argument has been ordered to pay her £170,000 a year by a family judge.
The husband, 68, and his 70-year-old wife owned a large property portfolio, including a £15 million house in Camden, London. They had been married for over 40 years.
After a particularly heated argument at their home in the South of France, the husband killed the wife’s pet ram. After this event the marriage irretrievably broke down.
The judge, Mr Jusitce Mostyn, said: ‘After over 40 years of marriage, relations between the parties in 2011 soured and, in that year, according to the wife, the husband asked for a separation.
‘In June 2013, relations between the parties irretrievably broke down, when the parties had a most animated argument in the south of France, in circumstances where the husband had put to death the wife’s pet ram.’
The couple lived an international life but the wife has filed for divorce in London stating that her husband has spent over 110 days in England in the past 12 months – more than he had spent in any other country in the world that year.
The mother of two insisted that her ‘completely Anglicised’ husband had made his home in the UK, although he had for years insisted to the tax authorities that he had ‘non-dom’ status.
The case will return to court when a judge will decide if the English courts have jurisdiction to hear the wife’s divorce petition.
While this issue is being decided, the wife has applied for maintenance pending suit – which means she will receive maintenance payments until the divorce is finally settled.
The woman applied to the court for a budget which included £18,000 a year for restaurants, £70,000 for holidays and European flights, and £24,000 for clothes and footwear. The total was over £393,000 a year.
Mr Justice Mostyn clearly felt that her budget was too high, and concluded that she should be paid around £14,166 a month – about £170,000 a year – in maintenance.
Her revised budget included £12,000 for clothes and shoes, £50,000 for flights and holidays and £10,000 for restaurants.
Mr Justice Mostyn’s judgement also dealt with the issue of ‘divorce tourism’ raised by the fact that the man and woman are filing for divorce in separate countries in an apparent bid to recieve a better settlement.
Mr Justice Mostyn said: ‘It is perfectly obvious what the motives of the parties were in issuing proceedings respectively in England and Austria.
‘The wife obviously believes that she will be afforded more generous treatment by this court than in the court of her homeland. The husband believes that he will be afforded more conservative and, therefore to him, more generous treatment in the court of his wife’s homeland.’
The case is due to continue at a further hearing in December.