Former solicitor's client denies will claims

Tuesday 13 November 2012 13.21
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Heather Perrin pleaded not guilty to inducing a former client to leave half his estate to two of her children
Heather Perrin pleaded not guilty to inducing a former client to leave half his estate to two of her children
Thomas Davis said the will did not reflect his instructions
Thomas Davis said the will did not reflect his instructions

A former client of a solicitor who is now a District Court judge, on trial for deception has said he would never have signed a will to include her two children as major beneficiaries.

Thomas Davis from Finglas told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court he only gave instructions to leave €2,000 to each of Heather Perrin's adult children.

Ms Perrin of Lambay Court, Malahide in Co Dublin has pleaded not guilty to inducing Mr Davis to leave half his estate to two of her children.

When shown the original will in court Mr Davis, who is in his 80s, said it did not reflect his instructions.

He said he did not read the will when he signed it nor was it read over to him in January 2009.

He said the meeting that day was short because he believed Ms Perrin had other urgent business.

Mr Davis said he asked two or three times for a copy of the will before one was sent to him in June.

The copy he received reflected his instructions but was unsigned and undated and was different from the original, the court heard.

Mr Davis also said he did not recall writing a series of irate letters to the firm of solicitors who took over Ms Perrin's practice telling them to return his files and to stop acting for him.

He said he did not write the letters but presumed Ms Perrin had written them and he signed them as she was the only other person who knew about it.

Ms Perrin then took them and sent them, he said.

One letter informed the new law firm, O’Hanrahan Quaney, that a friend would collect all their documents but Mr Davis said he did not know that person.

Under cross-examination he agreed that Ms Perrin and her children were like family to him and his wife.

He agreed that his wife had bought them birthday presents right into adulthood and also agreed she would often refer to them as "our children".

He did not agree his wife's memory was bad before she became ill but agreed she had put money in an oven once and it was burned.

The court was told under the terms of the will, Ms Perrin's two adult children stood to benefit from a quarter share in an estate worth up to €1m.