Will forgery case colapses

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Allegations of will forgery and fraud are becoming increasingly common. Our contested will disputes team look at a recent will forgery case, R v. Avery and others, which collapsed when the prosecution’s main witness admitted will forgery himself.

The deceased, Karen Griffin, had 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.

In a criminal prosecution it was claimed that when the Defendants saw the will dated August 2004 they forged the new will, dated August 2009.

The Defendants however denied conspiracy to commit fraud.

The case against them subsequently collapsed when, unbeknown to the prosecution, Mr Banks (the prosecution’s 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.

If you require legal advice on challenging a will on the basis of forgery or fraud and require a free case assessment from one of our specialist Legal 500 recommended lawyers then call us on freephone 0333 888 0409 or send details to us at [email protected]

Will forgery case colapses