TWO daughters have been caught in a bitter will row with their dad after he refused to pay out £80,000 in inheritance left by their beloved gran.
Katie and Abbie Rogers were left devastated when their grandmother, Sylvia Rogers, died in 2017 at the age of 80 following a battle with cancer.
Katie and Abbie Rogers with their grandmother Sylvia, who died from cancer in 2017[/caption]
Despite being estranged from their dad Gary Rogers – their grandmother’s son – Katie and Abbie visited Sylvia every weekend throughout their childhood.
Katie, 30, said her grandmother had changed the executor of her will to her son after her husband, George, died in 2015, Darlington Live reports.
The will should have been split three ways with the two daughters who were entitled to £44,000 each from the estate left to them by Sylvia.
Four years later, Rogers has been handed a suspended jail term over the bitter dispute.
At first, Katie and Abbie said they gave their 57-year-old dad the “benefit of the doubt” after not receiving the cash.
But a year after their grandmother’s death, the sisters said their dad refused to hand over the inheritance to help pay for vet bills after Katie’s dog was run over – or to help pay for a new car after Abbie passed her driving test.
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The pair decided to contact a solicitor and get the courts involved in the battle.
Katie said: “My mum and dad got divorced when I was about nine or 10. My dad had no contact with us throughout our teenage years.
“We had no relationship with him but we stayed very close to my grandma. I think she felt she needed to sort of step in because I think she felt guilty that her son had let us two down.
“We ended up being very close. Religiously every weekend we’d stay at my grandma’s. She did everything for us.
“She basically took on the role of my dad because he wasn’t there.”
A High Court hearing at Moot Hall in Newcastle heard how Rogers failed to comply with an order by a judge in July to hand over the estate, relevant documentation and bank statements.
He was sentenced to a six months jail term suspended for 12 months under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and ordered to pay court costs of more than £10,000 incurred by his estranged daughters during the three-year legal fight.
A judge has now told Rogers he has until January 7 next year to comply with the order – or he could be put behind bars.
Katie and pregnant Abbie, 28, said they have struggled to grieve during the legal battle.
‘TURNING IN HER GRAVE’
Katie said her grandmother would be “turning in her grave” over the bitter family dispute.
She said: “She’d be so upset, she’d be absolutely devastated. I think that’s what upsets me as well. If she was here I honestly don’t think she would be able to get her head around it.”
“She was a lovely woman, she would do anything for anyone. She’d give her last penny to anyone.
“For her son to do that to us, it would have killed her. She would have been absolutely devastated.”
Rogers, who represented himself at the hearing, said his Type 2 diabetes and poor mental health affected his failure to comply with the court order.
But he reportedly admitted he was in a better place from about three months ago and had “no excuse” for not complying with the order.
During the sentencing, Her Honour Judge Claire Jackson said: “The defendant tells me he has no excuse as to why he did not comply with the orders, he tells me he is sorry for what has happened, he accepts his daughters have suffered harm but refers to his own loss.”
Deciding to suspend the jail term, Judge Jackson added: “The reason is because I think it is more important your daughters’ suffering ends… your daughter’s need to get their legacy, they need to properly grieve their grandmother.”
“I, for one, am prioritising your daughters and their needs, their health and their well being over all other matters. I expect you to do the same.”