Woman who says partner hid true fortune wins court battle

Carol Ainscow Image copyright Rachel Adams
Image caption Carol Ainscow died in 2013 at the age of 55

A woman who claims her ex-partner hid her £6m fortune has won the latest round of a court battle for a better settlement.

Helen Roocroft, from Bolton, accepted around £200,000 after separating from property developer Carol Ainscow in 2009 after 18 years together.

She claims Miss Ainscow, who died three years ago, "misrepresented her wealth".

The Court of Appeal ruled Ms Roocroft's previously unsuccessful claim should be reconsidered by the High Court.

'Next step'

Lord Justice Elias, Lord Justice Kitchin and Lady Justice King said issues should now be reconsidered by a High Court judge.

The three judges had heard legal argument at an appeal court hearing in London in July.

Miss Ainscow's sister, Moya Ball, represented the late businesswoman's estate at the appeal hearing.

Mrs Ball disputed Ms Roocroft's claim and said there was "no merit" in the appeal.

A lawyer representing Ms Roocroft suggested that discussions would take place in the hope that both sides could reach agreement on figures.

"This judgment confirms that same-sex couples have the same rights under family law as heterosexual couples," her solicitor Ros Bever said.

"Ms Roocroft now has the opportunity to potentially set aside her original settlement and open discussions on a fair settlement based on the true disclosure of the assets built up during the couple's 18-year relationship."

Speaking after the appeal court ruling, Ms Roocroft said: "I am relieved that we have reached the next step in our legal battle."

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