Published: 20 July 2015
Millionaire Michael Harris, who refers to himself as ‘Delboy’, has lost abattle against his ex-wife Linda Capehorn relating to property worth £900,000. They were both involved in the success of their market stall turned frozen food business which turns over 1.8m-a-year. In the running of the market business it was heard that Mr Harris was the one in charge whilst a younger Miss Capehorn would help unload stock and serve customers.
However the relationship went downhill when Miss Capehorn accused her ex-husband of being a ‘serious womaniser’ and so she left with her son back in 2001. Capehorn took Harris to court in 2012 after he sacked her and made a claim to half of the share of her two properties, which included her childhood home situated near Bedford. At the Central London County Court, a judge originally decided that Mr Harris was entitled to 25 per cent of Sunnyside Farm but Miss Capehorn appealed the decision.
A hearing at the Court of Appeal saw Miss Capehorn win the case, after Harris’ claim for a share of the properties, which are worth together around £900,000, was rejected. It was decided Capehorn will retain ownership of Sunnyside Farm in Westoning, worth around £645,000 and also her present home in Flitwick worth around £250,000. However Harris wasn’t left empty handed after it was confirmed that he would continue to own the business, worth around £415,000 and would pay his ex-wife £750-a-week for the business headquarters to stay at Sunnyside Farm. However, Harris was ordered by Lord Justice Sales to pay Miss Capehorn £62,300 in arrears.
The court was informed that the couple met each other in 1982; Miss Capehorn soon left her job as a waitress and began working for Mr Harris in the frozen food business. Harris however, was made bankrupt in 1991 and was employed as manager of Capehorn’s sole trader business LMC Foods.
Sunnyside Farm was purchased in 1993 from Capehorn’s parents and the business was moved to the farm, where cold storage facilities were added later.
In 1994 Mr Harris was released frombankruptcy, however the business remained in Miss Capehorn’s name. Their relationship eventually ended in 2001 and she moved away and took their son with her. It was presented in court that Miss Capehorn wouldn’t want her ex-husband to be left with nothing when the relationship endedand so in 2007 she transferred the business to a company that Harris owned, with the agreement that he would pay her £750-a-week.
There were problems with this agreement when Harris claimed that in past conversations it was agreed that although the properties were in Capehorn’s name, he was still entitled to a share of them.
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