Will Forgery Claim Colapses
Our contesed will disputes team look at the recent will forgery case, R v. Avery and others, which collapsed when the prosecution’s main witness admited Will forgery
Maidstone Crown Court has recently cleared six people of Will forgery.
The deceased, Karen Griffin, drowned in the River Medway in November 2009. She was claimed to have left a Will made in August 2004 under which her entire estate was left to her brother, David Banks.
The deceased’s ex husband, Bernard Griffin, her children Daniel, Simon and Emma Griffin and partner, Raymond Avery, together with her neighbour, Alan McNicol were subsequently alleged to have forged another Will under which Simon Griffin was the sole beneficiary.
The prosecution claimed that when the Defendants saw the Will dated August 2004 they forged the new Will, dated August 2009.
The Defendants denied conspiracy to commit fraud.
The case against them subsequently collapsed when, unbeknown to the prosecution, Mr Banks (their main witness) admitted that he had previously forged his father’s Will. The prosecution offered no further evidence and the jury were told to find the Defendants not guilty of will forgery.
It is understood that civil proceedings have been issued in the High Court to determine whether the deceased’s 2009 Will was forged. A hearing has been listed for June 2012 to determine the issue.