A high-flying lawyer who built an international housing empire with her father before she realised he was having an affair with her nanny has won a legal battle for £1million of their property portfolio.
Audra Wamsteker, 49, once ‘idolised’ her father Paul David, 78, but was outraged after find out about his relationship with Jobeth Daguio, 28, who was looking after her two children.
Upon finding out about the relationship, a battle started over the ownership of a four-bedroom Surrey house worth £740,000 and a London flat worth around £275,000.
Twenty-three items of jewellery which belonged to Ms Wamsteker’s late mother, who passed away in 2008, were also up for grabs in the legal war.
The revelation of David’s relationship with the nanny in 2013 proved to be one of the breaking points between him and his daughter. Despite this, he married Daguio, which enraged Ms Wamsteker.
The relationship tore the family apart and created complex issues after Ms Wamsteker and Mr David had built a portfolio of properties across London, America and Malaysia.
David’s claims that he was the ‘beneficial owner’ of the properties fell on deaf ears as judge Simon Monty ruled both properties in England, the income from the American homes and the jewellery rightfully belonged to his daughter.
He said: ‘It is desperately sad to see a previously close and loving family having fallen out so spectacularly. It is perhaps not unusual for families not to document their financial and property arrangements.
‘However, if things do go wrong- as they did so dramatically in this case- and the ownership of property ends up being decided on the basis of whose evidence is more likely than not to be true, and on whether a claimant has proved that his version of events is more likely to be accurate than that of the defendant, there really is no half-way position.
‘For the reasons set out in this judgement, this claim must fail.’
In a statement after the judgement was publicly announced, Mrs Wamsteker said: ‘I did not bring these proceedings and had no wish to be involved in this litigation and the publicity which ensued.
‘It has caused me a great deal of distress. Today’s judgement vindicates me entirely, and I am glad that it is now concluded with court firmly finding in my favour.’
In court, David argued he had paid the deposits for both the properties in England and had paid some money towards their mortgages.
He also claimed he paid for four properties in Florida which were sold in 2014 and was entitled to proceeds of the sale.
Ms Wamsteker also refused to give up her late mother’s jewellery as she said it was ‘a gift’ by her father before their relationship broke down.
Mr David, who was representing himself and is backed by his son Alvin told the judge from the witness box that the jewellery, along with a box of her deceased mother’s clothes, ‘were not given to her, but taken to her house for safekeeping’.
He denied threatening to attack his daughter’s lover with an axe in a fit of rage but called Mr Wamsteker a ‘greedy’ man.
David, of Stratford, London must pay legal costs of £120,000 within 28 days but can lodge an appeal to extend that period provided it is made within 21 days.