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Divorcee still fighting for £1m ‘hidden pot of gold’

A divorcee is still fighting for £1million pot of gold that she believes her ex-husband has squirrelled overseas 26 years after they split.   

Carole Hayes, 68, and her former husband are still at each other’s throats, even though they were divorced more than a quarter of a century ago and both have new partners.

Mrs Hayes and her ex, accountant and computer entrepreneur, Timothy Hayes, got divorced in 1991, when they were both recently turned 40.

Bitter row: Timothy Hayes, left, and his ex-wife Carol, right, are locked in a dispute over whether or not Mr Hayes has squirrelled £1million away overseas 

But they are now well past retirement age and still cannot bury the hatchet.

Mr Hayes, 68, has always denied claims that he has got a £1 million ‘pot of gold’ hidden overseas.

And his ex-wife has hotly disputed his accusations that she has harassed him and his new wife.

Each has also issued separate petitions to have the other declared bankrupt.

After their latest face-off in London’s High Court, Mrs Hayes said she fears the battle with her ex will see her into her grave.

Mr Justice Morgan heard that the decree absolute ending the marriage was issued as long ago as June 1991.

Both have found love again since the divorce, with Mr Hayes living with his wife, Margaret in Upper Cambourne, Cambridge.

Not giving up: Despite divorcing 26 years ago, Mrs Hayes has taken the fight to the High Court

Not giving up: Despite divorcing 26 years ago, Mrs Hayes has taken the fight to the High Court

Mrs Hayes, 67, lives with her long-term partner, Graham Butters, in a £500,000 house in St Albans.

It looked like any other divorce when the couple agreed to divide their marital wealth 26 years ago.

But they have since been ’embroiled in numerous disputes’ which still rage to this day.

In 2005, Mrs Hayes successfully petitioned to make her ex bankrupt for not paying £35,000 in legal costs.

But he has complained about her ‘repeated allegations that he has hidden monies in the order of £750,000 to £1 million abroad.’

And he told a judge that relentless court hearings meant he ‘was never able to put matters behind him and get on with his life.’

In a High Court judgement in 2014, Mr Justice Nugee said it was Mr Hayes’ case that his ex-wife, ‘regards the money she claims was hidden as ‘a pot of gold’ which, if found, would…form a basis for setting aside the matrimonial consent order with a view to seeking an increased settlement.’

Mr Hayes, who was discharged from bankruptcy in March 2006, is now trying to give his ex-wife a taste of her own medicine, and have her declared bankrupt for non-payment of a series of legal costs orders made against her between 2006 and 2015, totaling around £50,000.

Mrs Hayes this week asked Mr Justice Morgan to rule that she should not have to pay up.

But the judge rejected her appeal, saying: ‘An order is an order is an order. The orders have gone unpaid. They have not been set aside. They remain enforceable.’

He commented: ‘There is a long history of litigation between these two parties.

‘It has continued for a long time and has resulted in very many – some would say too many – court appearances.’

But, paving the way for their war to continue, the judge lifted a stay on Mr Hayes’ bid to make his ex-wife bankrupt unless she coughs up the £50,000.

Mrs Hayes, outside court, said that she is still planning to fight on against the bill at a County Court hearing set to take place early next year.

‘I made him bankrupt in 2005 and now he’s trying to do the same to me,’ she said. ‘I just want it to finish before I die.’



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