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Giving false evidence to any court can have serious consequences, as an errant ex-husband may be about to discover.
Ex-spouses are often reluctant to pay their debts to their former partner and, in one extreme case, a husband who claimed to have paid £40,000 to his wife in bundles of £50 notes was condemned as a 'disgraceful liar' by a family judge.
Following divorce proceedings, the husband had been ordered to pay his wife a lump sum of £80,000. She denied having received a penny of that but he insisted that he had handed her 16 bundles of cash during a meeting at a restaurant. He claimed that his wife had agreed to accept only half of what he owed her so that her receipt of benefits would not be disturbed. However, the judge rejected the husband's story – which was backed up by his brother – commenting that it was 'certainly false'.
The husband had also sold a house, which he had inherited from his parents, without his wife's knowledge. The sale proceeds, which came to more than £280,000, made their way into his brother's bank account and all but around £110,000 had since been dispersed. The husband's story that the money belonged to his brother was 'entirely fictitious', the judge ruled.
The cash in the account had already been frozen and the judge ordered almost all of it to be paid to the wife, to cover the £80,000 debt plus interest and costs. The husband was also ordered to pay the wife's legal costs on a punitive basis. The judge directed that papers in the case be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration as to whether the husband and his brother should be prosecuted for perjury.