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In their 22 years together, shipping tycoon Captain Paul Crowther, 54, and horse-loving wife Caroline lived in a sprawling £3.5m manor house in rural Sussex. They have blown more than £2.3million in bitter fighting through 34 separate court hearings, family judge Mr Justice Peel said. He awarded the husband just £77,414 and the wife £660,961 from what is left. The couple had a lucrative Brighton-based business chartering ships to offshore oil, gas and wind farm industries.
But after their relationship ended in 2018, they began an “intensely acrimonious” court fight over their assets. The judge said: “The only beneficiaries of this nihilistic litigation have been the specialist and high-quality lawyers.
“The main losers are probably the children. Apart from the emotional pain of seeing their parents involved in such bitter proceedings, they will be deprived of monies which I am sure their parents would otherwise have wanted them to benefit from in due course.”
He added: “Each party thinks the other is out to destroy them.”
Mrs Crowther, 49, bought valuable horses, while the couple had expensive cars and a stake in a private plane while their kids attended private schools. The couple’s assets included their Landhurst, East Sussex home which netted £3.5million when sold but lawyers’ fees ate into that.
The judge split the remaining money in favour of the wife because of the husband’s conduct, much higher earning capacity and because she was the main childcare provider.
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