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Tycoon 'had £2m watch collection'

A businessman accused of "manipulating" his financial affairs so as to "do down" his estranged wife had a watch collection worth £2 million, a High Court judge was told today.

Scot Young had said he had more than 40 watches in the collection, the businessman's former solicitor told Mr Justice Moor.

Stanley Beller said Mr Young had also: been involved in a deal to buy the sultan of Brunei's car collection; had once walked out of his office with £13 million worth of share certificates and had once handed an associate a "holdall full of cash".

Mr Young told the judge that Mr Beller was "lying". Mr Beller told the judge: "I am not going to be called a liar by this cheat."

Mr Beller was giving evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London where Mr Young, 51, and his estranged wife Michelle, 49, are fighting over money.

Mrs Young says Mr Young is worth ''a few billion at least" and says ''there was a vast fortune hidden''.

She says she is a victim of "fraud" because Mr Young has manipulated his affairs so as to do her down.

Mrs Young says she wants her fair share and would settle for £300 million plus legal expenses.

She says she wants a £25 million house and wants to live in Belgravia, central London.

Mr Young, who is due to begin giving evidence tomorrow, disputes Mrs Young's claims.

He says he is penniless and bankrupt, a victim of financial meltdown and has debts which add up to £28 million.

The trial began on October 31 and is expected to end later this month.

Mr Justice Moor says he will have to decide how much Mr Young is worth.

The judge has heard that the Youngs, who both live in London and have two daughters, separated in 2006 after starting a relationship in 1989.

"Mr Young had a watch collection he was very proud of and would show me," said Mr Beller. "And he told me his watch collection was worth £2 million."

Mr Beller added: "He told me his watch collection exceeded 40 watches."

He said Mr Young and an associate were "going to buy the car collection of the sultan of Brunei".

He said one of his colleagues had once seen Mr Young "present" an associate "with a large holdall full of cash" a nd Mr Young had once taken away £13 million worth of his share certificates held at Mr Beller's office, the judge was told.

Mr Beller said Mr Young had come into his office and wanted to discuss "what shares were around".

"I took them into my room from the safe. They were left there. I was subsequently called out of the room," said Mr Beller.

"Subsequently Mr Young left. A bit later I noticed the envelopes had gone. I just wondered where they were. I phoned Mr Young. He said, 'I have taken them but don't worry I will sort things out'. I was quite unhappy."

Mr Young said: "Mr Beller is lying."

Mr Beller said: "I am not going to be called a liar by this cheat."

The hearing continues tomorrow.


From Belfast Telegraph