A case that had all the ingredients that newspapers believe are in the public interest, our client’s story would have hit the News of the World had it still been around. Luckily for one family it was never publicised despite adultery, sex and scandal that was so much part of it. Instead the family chose to use a lie detector test in Richmond to resolve an inheritance problem.
We are sharing this case because most of the parties involved are now deceased and for those caring for a partner with Alzheimer’s disease it may be a useful resource. It may also help families who are experiencing similar problems. The names and locations have been changed to protect the family members.
Louise, Jennifer’s mother, was once a vibrant, loving woman. She married Charles who later in life became the CEO of a prominent Fortune 500 company. 10 years into their marriage, and 3 children later including Jennifer, Charles was unfaithful and he and Louise separated. They divorced and Charles married the secretary he was having an affair with.
Many years later Louise was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and Charles left his second wife, divorced her and remarried Louise. He then employed sufficient nursing agency staff to take care of Louise.
Nurses and carers
As time progressed a series of nurses and carers provided for Louise’s needs. There were usually two working around the clock. A new carer, Anna, arrived one day and sitting with the housekeeper and other staff one evening during a break, she told a sad story. She had been the victim of domestic violence and recently divorced. Her ex-husband was wealthy but she had been reduced to working as a carer whilst the bitter battle about finances continued. Anna certainly stood out from the rest of the carers, wearing expensive clothes and jewellery to work.
Charles felt sorry for Anna and took a special interest in her. They would often take the dog for a walk together and could be heard laughing and joking whenever they were together. Anna finally reached a settlement with her ex and decided she wanted to buy a home in Portugal.
Nobody expected to see her again as the agency hadn’t sent her for months. But one day she showed up, not as a carer, but as a guest invited by Charles. Anna stayed for two weeks and it was clear to other staff members that they were sleeping together in Charles’s bedroom. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that Anna adopted the position that Louise had once held in the household. She ordered staff around and was generally acting like ‘lady of the manor’.
Louise became more difficult to manage and although her Alzheimer’s maybe prevented her from completely understanding what was going on, it was clear she had picked up on something.
When Anna returned to Portugal everyone breathed a sigh of relief. However, it wasn’t long before Charles went to visit her at her house there. Not a well man himself, Charles needed dialysis periodically and Anna arranged for this to happen when he was in Portugal. Over a period of 3 years, their relationship grew stronger and Charles was deeply in love.
Incriminating Facebook posts
A nurse who worked regularly for the family was great friends with the housekeeper and they kept in touch. They were both Facebook friends with Anna. Charles was useless with computers. Having retired some years prior, anything that needed doing on a computer was left to his admin staff. Perhaps because Anna knew he wouldn’t even know what Facebook was she felt free to post messages on her page stating her desire to meet someone to share her life with. Both the nurse and the housekeeper saw her posts and naturally discussed them.
In a quirk of fate, one of the nurse’s friends, Mark, hooked up with Anna. After a whirlwind romance, Mark moved into Anna’s house and started to help with her renovations.
However, Anna didn’t give up her relationship with Charles. As far as Mark was concerned, Anna was a respite carer for Charles. This explained his visits to Anna’s house and her visits to his. Friends of Mark warned him about Anna ‘the gold digger’ but he wouldn’t hear a word said against her. He was somewhat suspicious about the relationship she had with Charles because whenever he visited, Mark was banished to Anna’s mother’s house. However, Anna dismissed his fears by saying that Charles was infatuated with her but she was young enough to be his daughter. He paid her a generous allowance as a retained carer and she didn’t want to rock the boat. When he died she would inherit at least a million pounds and she didn’t want to lose this. There was no sexual relationship she said, so where was the harm?
On her visits to Charles’s house her manner with the staff was condescending and obnoxious. When Louise was around she flaunted her relationship with him. Jennifer and her siblings were furious and refused to visit while Anna was in the house.
In all the years Louise had been ill, the thought had never entered Charles’s mind to put her into a residential care home. That day came after he had known Anna for 18 months. The housekeeper confided in Jennifer that she thought Anna was ‘taking Charles for a ride’ because Anna was living with another man in Portugal.
Lie detector test in Richmond
Jennifer told her father this, resulting in an enormous argument in which Anna stormed out of the house and went back to Portugal. On the phone, later that night, Anna told Charles it was over. She denied that anyone was living with her but if Charles didn’t trust her there was no point in continuing. Charles was heartbroken, he said he didn’t believe a word of it and pleaded with her to come back. It was at this point that Jennifer suggested to Anna on the phone that she take a lie detector test in Richmond or arrange to take one at one of our UK airport offices. Anna slammed the phone down on her.
Little did anyone know that Anna would have no choice but to take a lie detector test in Richmond some months later.
Charles over the coming months began to believe there was some truth in the allegation that Anna was living with another man. One day he altered his will saying that he would leave it to the discretion of his executors as to whether or not to pay Anna a bequest of £25,000.
He then decided not to continue with his dialysis treatment and sadly, ultimately died from septicaemia.
Last Will and Testament
Charles’s solicitors were the executors of his will and in consultation with his children decided that if Anna took the lie detector test in Richmond, they would consider the bequest. She would be paid if she wasn’t in a relationship with another man but not, if she was. During her relationship with Charles he had paid her thousands of pounds for the renovation of her house in Portugal as well as an allowance of £3,000 a month. The family believed she’s been paid over and above anything she would ever be entitled to.
Anna was furious and made a claim as a dependant on Charles’s estate to the tune of £1 million. In the end, since her claim was ludicrous she ended up taking the polygraph test and failed miserably. The solicitors had told her their terms and she could take it or leave it. Despite all or plotting and scheming she ended up with nothing.
It’s not unusual for someone whose partner has dementia or Alzheimer’s to form relationships with carers. Most carers are aware of this vulnerability and behave completely professionally. However, on occasions someone like Anna comes along with devastating consequences.
If you feel you have a similar problem, please contact us for advice. A lie detector test in Richmond or elsewhere can be arranged quickly and will be conducted with the utmost confidentiality. Call our free helpline on 0800 368 8277.