Court orders woman to pay £116,000 after boyfriend caught her cheating
A woman has been ordered by a court to repay her former boyfriend up to the tune £116,000 in cash and gifts he showered upon her while they were dating, but later went sour after he caught her cheating.
Nurse Trish Garikayi, 37, said she was a given a Porsche 911 and a £100,000 diamond bracelet from Aspreys by love-struck businessman, Wisdom Penfold, 58, Daily Mail reports.
But Mr Penfold claimed their relationship turned sour after he caught her in bed with another man.
They pair ended up locked in a bitter court battle over money.
And a judge at Central London County Court has ruled that she ‘misappropriated’ money Mr Penfold entrusted to her when blinded by love.
Miss Garikayi has been ordered to repay him £116,000, lawyers’ bills, plus a 20% share of her £340,000 home.
She earlier claimed to be a ‘kept woman’ and insisted that the money, like the luxury goods he lavished upon her, was a non-returnable gift.
But Judge Alexander Hill-Smith said she had her ‘eyes firmly on winning the case’ and ‘unhesitatingly preferred’ Mr Penfold’s account of events.
After the judge announced his decision, Miss Garikayi hurled her £2,500 engagement ring across the courtroom towards her ex-fiance.
Mr Penfold calmly picked up the discarded diamond band and handed it to his solicitor.
Earlier he accused her of spending over £200,000 of his money, which was supposed to go towards a home for the loved-up couple.
They met in a hospital cafe in 2009, but Mr Penfold claimed the ‘perfect’ relationship came to an end in 2015, when he caught her with another man.
He came home unexpectedly to find his younger lover with a doctor in the house, he told the judge.
The tree importer and exporter, of Lydia Park, Cranleigh, said the relationship was a ‘happy one’ for years and they got engaged in 2013.
But the weeping businessman was so shaken up by his ‘completely shocking discovery’ that Miss Garikayi had to take him to A&E, the court heard.
She claimed they split up earlier, in June 2015, because he had got together with another woman, with whom he now has a child.
Mr Penfold was still married to another woman when he first started seeing Miss Garikayi, but he said the marriage had ‘not been close’.
His wife was ‘comfortable’ with his new relationship, and Mr Penfold said: ‘I’ve never been unfaithful to anyone in my life’.
The court heard £218,000 had been paid into Miss Garikayi’s account after Mr Penfold sold two investment properties.
Insisting the money was a gift, she said that, throughout the relationship,
‘if I wanted something, I would get it’. As far as the discussion I had with Wisdom, they were gifts to me,’ she told the judge.
‘We were in love, the relationship was strong at that point. So there was no need for me to question or query.’
Her solicitor, Chike Ezike, added:
‘The nature of the relationship was one where Mr Penfold bestowed and showered Miss Garikayi with lavish gifts.’
Treating her as a ‘kept woman’, he gave her a Porsche, a BMW and a Mercedes and the £100,000 bracelet, the court was told.
And they enjoyed high-end holidays together to Paris, Spain, Indonesia and Dubai, he added.
Mr Ezike claimed that Mr Penfold also ‘regularly gave her large sums of money’ with no expectation that she would ever pay him back.
But, denying that he had been so generous, Mr Penfold said:
‘I think if I gave £100,000 for a bracelet I would quite remember it.
‘I think it would be welded in my brain for the rest of my life.’
He accepted that he brought Miss Garikayi everything from ‘the little pink pigs out of M&S’ that she liked, and a Burberry coat and Jimmy Choo shoes.
But he told the judge that he ‘did not give her large sums of money’ and had ‘never bought her a car’.
The £218,000 was placed in Miss Garikayi’s account as a sign of the ‘seriousness of their relationship’, said his barrister, Richard Alford.
They were looking to start a family together, but it was ‘implausible’ that Mr Penfold would give her ‘such a large gift’, he added.
He raised the cash with a view to buying a family home and ‘she indicated that he should pay the money into her account to demonstrate his trust for her.’
‘He did as requested, instructing her that the funds were to be held in the account and not used unless he said so,’ added Mr Alford.
But instead she spent some of the money on herself and used £91,000 to buy a property in Harare, Zimbabwe, without his permission, the barrister claimed.
Mr Penfold also claimed he was entitled to a share in a property in Chaucer Court, Guildford, Miss Garikayi bought for £275,000 in 2015.
He said he had paid the £35,000 deposit as well as refurbishment costs and two mortgage payments.
She denied they had ever planned to buy a property together and said she bought her home on her own with ‘no involvement whatsoever’ from Mr Penfold.
But Judge Hill-Smith ruled:
‘I unhesitatingly prefer the evidence of Mr Penfold…he gave his evidence in a careful way.’
‘His written statement is thorough and comprehensive and presents a coherent account of what occurred.’
The judge said he was ‘very much in love’ with Miss Garikayi and ‘as far as he was concerned it was a perfect relationship’.
‘I find his account of the break-up of the relationship, his returning to the house, his reaction to it, going to A&E and being badly affected, compelling.
‘Her account of the breakdown of the relationship was very unspecific,’ the judge added.
‘It lacked the human qualities that one would find in a breakdown of a long-term relationship like this.’
Miss Garikayi had her ‘eyes firmly on winning the case’ and the judge said: ‘I do not find her to have been consistent in her defence’.
‘The documentary evidence, I find, supports the account of Mr Penfold and not Miss Garikayi.’
The judge ruled that the cash paid into her account, far from being a gift to a kept woman, was ‘held on trust’ by her for Mr Penfold.
She spent £91,000 on the Zimbabwe property ‘in breach of trust’ and the judge ruled she had also ‘misappropriated’ £25,000 of his money.
He accepted that Mr Penfold had contributed £35,000 towards the Chaucer Court deposit, as well as paying for refurbishments and two mortgage payments.
That came to a total of £60,000, entitling Mr Penfold to a 20% stake in Miss Garikayi’s home, now valued at £340,000.
‘I do find as a fact that the parties were intending this as a joint home together,’ the judge said.
‘I have accepted Mr Penfold’s evidence and essentially found for him on all the financial issues.’
Miss Garikayi was given six months to buy him out, or her home would be sold and the proceeds divided.
Mr Penfold’s lawyers say they will be seeking £62,000 in costs against Miss Garikayi, and the judge ordered her to pay £30,000 of that within 21 days.