Haulage boss wins court case

A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE car magnate has been urged by a High Court judge not to bankrupt his ex-lover after victory in their legal war.

A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE car magnate has been urged by a High Court judge not to bankrupt his ex-lover after victory in their legal war.

Mr Justice Warren's comments came after mother-of-two Jane Thomson lost a bid to be granted a “beneficial interest” in the love nest she once shared with Roy Humphrey at Church Farm, Hoxne Road, Eye.

Mr Humphrey - who has built up a highly successful business after starting out from a lean-to garage from his parents bungalow - purchased Church Farm in March 2000.

The 62-year-old ploughed �350,000 into making it a dream home, setting up a tack shop business for Ms Thomson to run from the premises.

But when the couple split up in 2006 after more than a decade together she was left with no interest in the property which was in his name.

At the High Court, Ms Thomson alleged that she had been promised by Mr Humphrey that he would look after her.

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She told Mr Justice Warren that she had given up any prospect of a career to become a housewife and had overseen the massive renovation project at Church Farm, devoting 18 months of her life to manage it.

At a court hearing yesterday, Mr Justice Warren said that, although his decision might be viewed by some as unfair, Ms Thomson had no beneficial interest in Church Farm.

“Whether the conclusion I have reached is one which is seen, on either an objective or subjective basis, as fair or not, it is not a matter for this court,” concluded the judge. “That is a matter for law reform.”

Following the judgement, Mr Humphrey's lawyer, Charles Holbech, asked the judge to order that Ms Thomson - who works in a bank - pay his legal costs, which are likely to run to tens of thousands of pounds.

Opposing the application, Gary Crawley, for Ms Thomson, said that to make her pay the costs would be “cruel and inhuman” as she would become bankrupt - and as a result would lose her job.

Urging Mr Humphrey to consider his position and observing that he had “won the war”, Mr Justice Warren delayed consideration of the costs issue until a later date.

Mr Holbech told the judge that Mr Humphrey had made a number of offers to Ms Thomson in a bid to settle the case.

According to his website, Mr Humphrey gave up his job as a mechanic more than 30 years ago to set up his own business, beginning by repairing cars from a lean-to garage next to his parents' bungalow.

Now Mr Humphrey - whose business premises are in Eye, Suffolk - employs 150 people, selling, repairing, servicing and leasing cars.