Alexander Hutcheon’s former partner Nicola (pictured) who went on a £40,000 shopping spree after the split, was ordered to hand over £900,00 after the couple divorced in February 2017
A lawyer has lost a court battle with his ex-wife after she failed to hand over almost £1 million in their divorce settlement.
Alexander Hutcheon’s former partner Nicola, 49, who went on a £40,000 shopping spree after the split, was ordered to hand over £900,00 after the couple divorced in February 2017.
But she declared herself bankrupt just two months after the settlement was reached and has not handed over the money.
In 2014, Mr Hutcheon, of Aberdeen, was cleared of assaulting his wife and racially abusing her then lover, Steve Agyei, a fitness trainer whose clients have included Cherie Blair.
The 63-year-old solicitor, the owner of one of Aberdeen’s leading property and mortgaging businesses, has now lost a legal bid to overturn a decision by the Accountant In Bankruptcy (AIB) to discharge her bankruptcy.
He claimed she shouldn’t be freed from bankruptcy as she had still not given information about the true extent of her finances including the location of three valuable pieces of jewellery.
The hearing at Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard Mrs Hutcheon went on a £40,000 shopping spree in the days before and after she applied for bankruptcy.
She spent £4,144.40 at Harrods in London on cosmetics and hair treatments, £3,498.49 on flights to London and Miami and £2,020 on a designer handbag from Gucci.
She also spent more than £15,000 on designer clothing and accessories at Netaporter.com and more than £1,200 on fitness equipment.
Mr Hutcheon also alleged that his ex-wife may have fabricated ‘debts’ by entering into loan agreements with members of her family to avoid paying him.
Mrs Hutcheon’s bankruptcy trustee, Michael Reid, also went to court in a bid to reverse the bankruptcy decision but his challenge was also refused.
Alexander Hutcheon, 63 (pictured) is the owner of one of Aberdeen’s leading property and mortgaging businesses. He has lost a court battle with his ex wife over her bankruptcy
After a year of being bankrupt, the person will usually be discharged from bankruptcy. In some cases they may be discharged later. This is called a delayed discharge.
A discharge releases them from any debts covered by the bankruptcy. It also takes away the restrictions of bankruptcy, unless a bankruptcy restrictions order or bankruptcy restrictions undertaking has been made.
Sheriff Graeme Napier ruled that there was no lawful reason to delay Ms Taylor’s discharge and said it would not effect her trustee’s ability to further investigate her conduct and the whereabouts of assets.
Issuing his ruling, he said: ‘The creditor’s primary motivation for discharge being deferred seems to be that he and other creditors have lost very substantial sums to the debtor as a result of her voluntary sequestration.
The hearing at Aberdeen Sheriff Court (pictured) heard Mrs Hutcheon went on a £40,000 shopping spree in the days before and after she applied for bankruptcy
‘He argued that the creditors are entitled to expect that the sequestration process be followed to its conclusion.
‘This sequestration arises out of acrimonious divorce proceedings litigated over a number of years in the Court of Session. But I am not persuaded that is relevant to the question of discharge.
‘It may well be that the creditor is dissatisfied with how matters developed thereafter. It may well be that he and the Trustee are dissatisfied with the explanation the debtor has produced in relation to the missing jewellery.
‘But the fact that the Trustee knows about the missing jewellery does not suggest an uncooperative debtor.
‘The creditor and the Trustee may have reservations about documents of debt entered into by the debtor but if they do there are remedies available to them. Whether the Trustee chooses to do so or not is not affected by discharge.
‘The principles relating to the question of discharge require the decision-maker to consider whether the debtor has failed to disclose assets or otherwise co-operate with the Trustee but there is no material presented to me which would justify the AIB in so concluding.’
Mrs Hutcheon argued that she had co-operated fully with her bankruptcy trustee and made a ‘full and fair’ surrender of her estate.
Sheriff Napier ruled that her shopping spree was permitted as no limit was set on her spending as part of her bankruptcy order.
In 2014, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard Mr Hutcheon was accused of branding Mr Agyei a ‘monkey’ after turning up at a pub in the city to plead with his wife to come home.
Mr Hutcheon said he had gone to prove that his wife was still with her lover, despite her promising to return to the family.
Sheriff Janys Scott ruled there was no evidence to show anyone had suffered fear or alarm and acquitted Mr Hutcheon.
During the trial prosecutors dropped a charge alleging he assaulted his wife at their home.