Ex-husband wins payment ruling
A man said to own millions of pounds worth of property has won a High Court cash fight with his ex-wife after pleading "temporary illiquidity".
Rosanna Bennett today asked a judge to enforce the payment of more than £600,000 she said former husband Timothy Bennett owed following the break-up of their marriage.
But Mr Bennett said he was suffering "temporary illiquidity" and suggested that his ex-wife should be patient.
And judge Sir Peter Singer dismissed Ms Bennett's application for a "judgment summons" at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
Sir Peter said he had sympathy for Ms Bennett. But he said she had not produced evidence that Mr Bennett had the ability to pay but was refusing to pay.
Little detail of the couple's background emerged at the hearing.
The judge said Mr Bennett had been living in Switzerland. And a lawyer representing Ms Bennett said Mr Bennett had "property assets" worth nearly £3.5 million. Barrister Ian Cook also said a property the couple had in in Oxford had been transferred to Ms Bennett.
Mr Cook said Mr Bennett had agreed to pay Ms Bennett a lump sum of £800,000 two years ago. He said £175,000 had been paid.
He said the lump sum had been part of a court order Mr Bennett had agreed to. And he said the judge could infer that Mr Bennett had "sufficient assets".
But Sir Peter disagreed.
"Where is there evidence of ability to pay?" asked Sir Peter. "His case is that he is suffering temporary illiquidity and it will all be all right come the end of November."
He added: "As a judgment summons this doesn't get off the ground."