A ‘millionaire’ ex-British Airways captain who spent 16 years denying his daughter was his own and bombarded his ex-wife with emails has been banned from suing her after she spent £40,000 fighting his ‘vexatious’ claims in a 20-year divorce battle.
Four-time married Richard Wilmot has also been barred from making any more applications for court orders without the permission of a judge.
A High Court judge made the orders on Tuesday after concluding that Mr Wilmot had ‘grossly harassed’ ex-wife Viki Maughan and her lawyers.
Mr Justice Mostyn described the case as one of the worst examples of ‘vexatious litigation misconduct’ and said Mr Wilmot’s ‘activities’ had led to his ex-wife running up legal bills of more than £40,000.
While together, Ms Maughan and Mr Wilmot had lived in idyllic £800,000 country pile in Cranbrook, Kent, until the marriage broke down and he branded her a ‘liar’ and accused her of fathering their child with another man.
Richard Wilmot (pictured, left) has been ordered not to harass Viki Maughan (pictured, right) in the latest stage of their 20-year divorce battle
While together, Ms Maughan and Mr Wilmot had lived in idyllic £800,000 country pile (pictured) in Cranbrook, Kent, before they separated in the late 1990s
The judge made an order under protection from harassment legislation, which bars Mr Wilmot from ‘pursuing any conduct’ which amounts to harassment, and a ‘general civil restraint order’, which stops him making court applications without permission.
He also ordered Mr Wilmot to pick up his ex-wife’s lawyers’ bills. Mr Justice Mostyn spelled out the orders in a ruling after analysing evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London earlier this month.
The judge said divorce court proceedings had started in 1999 after the couple’s ‘ill-fated marriage’ ended.
He had heard that Mr Wilmot, who has links to Aldersmead in Somerset and the Isle of Man, had flown with British Airways and Turkish Airlines.
Mr Wilmot (pictured) spent 16 years accusing his wife of being a liar and claiming that his daughter was not his
‘There is no doubt that (Mr Wilmot) is an exceptionally vexatious litigant,’ said Mr Justice Mostyn in his ruling.
‘This is one of the worst cases of vexatious litigation misconduct that I have ever encountered.’
The judge added: ‘There can be no doubt that (Mr Wilmot) has grossly harassed (his ex-wife) and her legal representatives.’
Mr Justice Mostyn said Mr Wilmot had continued an ‘unrestrained’ campaign against his ex-wife and her lawyers.
Mr Wilmot has flown for British Airways as well as Turkish Airlines and has been battling his ex in the courts for 20 years
He said a ‘torrent’ of emails, making a variety of allegations, had been unleashed. Early in 2018, Mr Justice Mostyn ordered Mr Wilmot to pay his ex-wife nearly £600,000, a sum which included money owed for child support and legal bills.
The judge also imposed an email ban on Mr Wilmot after his ex-wife complained about messages sent to her solicitor.
He said Mr Wilmot had breached that email ban and sent the solicitor ‘dozens of messages’.
The previous order to pay the back maintenance and legal costs was made by a High Court judge who slammed Mr Wilmot for his ‘utter folly’ in March last year as he ruled he is ‘beyond any doubt at all’ the father of a child he has denied was his for 16 years.
Mr Wilmot insisted his ex was ‘a liar’ and that the girl was fathered, not by him, but by a lover he claimed Ms Maughan was secretly seeing before they divorced.
Lord Justice Lloyd outlined Mr Wilmot’s allegation that the 2001 divorce settlement was ‘obtained by fraud on the part of Ms Maughan’.
He said: ‘In particular, he claims that she pretended…to be financially entirely dependent on him when in fact, he says, she was in a relationship with and financially supported by her new lover.
‘Mr Wilmot has been contending for years that the paternity declaration in relation to this daughter was not reliable and should be set aside.
‘He says two samples were switched… he has been contending that Ms Maughan has been lying and fabricating evidence and withholding material for years.’
But the judge ruled that ‘recorded scientific evidence’, following a new DNA test carried out in Germany, has ‘concluded that the probability that Captain Wilmot was the true father of the child was 99.999999 per cent.’
The test ‘demonstrates beyond any doubt at all that Captain Wilmot is the father,’ he said, ordering him to pay almost £25,000 to put the girl through university.
Mr Justice Mostyn also ordered him to pay almost £115,000 in back maintenance – and the ‘astonishing figure’ of more than £290,000 in legal costs.
Adding in other legal bills, and the cost of a receiver working to ‘recover’ funds from Mr Wilmot’s assets ‘for the benefit of Ms Maughan,’ he was ordered to pay £593,598.
Mr Wilmot later remarried and set his new family up in another upmarket £800,000 country home in Alcombe, Somerset.
Earlier hearings revealed that he also owned a £500,000 18th-century listed house in Dunster, Somerset, and had property in Kirkmichael, Isle of Man.
Mr Justice Mostyn has extended a freezing order over assets, including his ‘properties,’ commenting that they must remain under the control of the receiver until the bill to his ex is paid in full.