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Disinherited daughter faces losing her home in legal battle with RNLI

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disinherited daughter faces losing her home in legal battle with rnli

A ‘disinherited’ daughter faces losing the £260,000 home she won in her divorce just months ago after losing a legal battle with the RNLI over her lifeboatman father’s £300,000 estate.

Sonya Young gave up her job to concentrate on a legal fight with the lifesaving charity in 2015 after discovering her father, Brian Cole, had left around £268,000 to the RNLI, while handing her and his former partner just £5,000 each. 

Troubled Mr Cole killed himself, aged 70, on August 30, 2013, just 25 days after he signed off the will, leaving nearly all his savings to fund the lifeboat in Penarth, Wales, he once crewed.

Sonya Young, pictured, gave up her job to concentrate on a legal fight with the RNLI in 2015 after discovering her former lifeboatman father, Brian Cole. had 'disinherited' her in his will

Sonya Young, pictured, gave up her job to concentrate on a legal fight with the RNLI in 2015 after discovering her former lifeboatman father, Brian Cole. had ‘disinherited’ her in his will

Mrs Young, of St Ambrose Close, Dinas Powys, Wales, has been fighting the charity since in a bid to prove her father was not in his right mind when he made his final will.

At the same time, she has also been going through a divorce with her ex husband Phillip Young and in March this year a court ruled that she should walk away from the marriage with the whole of the £260,000 family home.

But now she faces losing everything she gained after the fallout from her inheritance fight caught up with her this week.

In July last year, Judge Paul Teverson found in favour of the charity, upholding the will and ruling that Mr Cole had known what he was doing.

He had made a conscious decision to ‘disinherit’ his daughter after a bad falling-out, the judge said.

At the charity’s request, another judge this week imposed charging orders totalling more than £140,000 in favour of the RNLI on the house she won in the divorce, paving the way for the property to be sold to pay off what she owes to the charity.

London’s High Court heard that Mr Cole, who was worth around £300,000 when he passed away, had named his only daughter as his main heir in 2008.

But in another will he executed in 2012, he largely ‘disinherited her’ in favour of his then girlfriend Angela Saunders.

A judge this week imposed charging orders totalling more than £140,000 in favour of the RNLI on the £260,000 house in Dinas Powys, Wales, pictured, which Ms Young she won in her divorce, paving the way for the property to be sold to pay off what she owes to the charity

A judge this week imposed charging orders totalling more than £140,000 in favour of the RNLI on the £260,000 house in Dinas Powys, Wales, pictured, which Ms Young she won in her divorce, paving the way for the property to be sold to pay off what she owes to the charity

His last will in 2013 then left both women only £5,000 each, with nearly all of his assets going to the RNLI in honour of his former service as a lifeboatman ‘for the purpose of the upkeep of the Penarth life boat and the station at Penarth’.

Mr Cole told the lawyer who prepared his last will that he had been a crew member of the Penarth life boat ‘many years ago’ and wanted the RNLI to get most of his wealth.

Daniel Burton – the RNLI’s barrister – told the court there was a troubled history between father and daughter, and that there had been some ‘fundamental disagreement’ between them.

‘The evidence is clear that his intention was to disinherit his daughter and he had already done that pursuant to his previous will,’ he added.

But Mrs Young said her father had a history of boozing and suggested he may have been deluded when his last will was executed, also pointing out that he committed suicide just over three weeks later.

‘None of it makes any sense,’ she argued.

Judge Teverson said the issue he had to decide was not whether the pensioner was being ‘fair or kind’, but whether he was not in his right mind at the time.

The evidence did not suggest this, the judge found, saying the changes Mr Cole made to his various wills ‘are explained by him falling out with his daughter and then with his partner’.

The judge ruled in favour of that will and the RNLI in July last year.

Brian Cole's last will in 2013 left his daughter and partner only £5,000 each, with nearly all of his assets going to the RNLI in honour of his former service as a lifeboatman 'for the purpose of the upkeep of the Penarth life boat and the station at Penarth'

Brian Cole’s last will in 2013 left his daughter and partner only £5,000 each, with nearly all of his assets going to the RNLI in honour of his former service as a lifeboatman ‘for the purpose of the upkeep of the Penarth life boat and the station at Penarth’

Mrs Young went on to pay out £214,000 of her father’s money to the RNLI, but had already ‘dissipated’ or spent around £54,000 whilst it was in her hands, the court heard.

This week Judge Timothy Bowles ordered Mrs Young to pay the charity a total of over £140,000 to cover the shortfall, plus the costs of the court fight and approved charging orders totalling that sum on her house.

He made the move after hearing Mr Burton say that Mrs Young had ‘admitted having the assets in her hands’ and that she had ‘held and partly dissipated them.’

Mr Burton also told the judge that following a hearing in the divorce proceedings in March this year, Phillip Young, Mrs Young’s estranged husband, had ‘transferred his interest in the property to her or been ordered to do so..’

Mr Young was in court at an earlier hearing and had told Judge Teverson: ‘She gave up work to fight this case. Because of what she’s done, everything that I’ve worked for that should have gone to my children is going to be handed to the RNLI. I do feel very strong and bitter about it.’

Judge Bowles approved charging orders of £82,243.10 to cover the shortfall in repayment plus interest, plus around another £38,825.65 in legal costs. The judge said a further £26,000 charging order for her costs bill had already been approved.

A spokesman for the RNLI after an earlier hearing said: ‘Legacies such as those left by Mr Cole play a vital part in saving lives at sea and the charity is extremely grateful to anyone who leaves a gift in their will.’

Mr Cole’s ex, Angela Saunders, played no part in the court hearing.

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Daredevil climber without any safety equipment climbs up the tallest skyscraper in central Paris

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daredevil climber without any safety equipment climbs up the tallest skyscraper in central paris

A climber without any safety equipment tonight used his bare hands to climb up the tallest skyscraper in central Paris – before being arrested at the top.

Videos posted on social media showed the unidentified man scaling the 689ft Montparnasse Tower on Friday evening, as emergency services including police cars and ambulances scrambled to the iconic building in the French capital.

‘He set off from the bottom soon after 7pm and didn’t stop,’ said one of numerous onlookers who snatched pictures and video and posted them on social media.

‘It looked incredibly dangerous, and some thought it might be a suicide attempt, but he just kept going.’

The climber did not have any safety equipment

Once he reached the top he was arrested by police

The man wore a white T-shirt and shorts as he hauled himself up and looked very confident

Images showed the man wearing a white T-shirt and shorts as he hauled himself skywards, looking extremely relaxed.

As he got towards the top, a rescuer believed to be part of a police unit came down the tower using ropes and a safety harness, and escorted the climber to relative safety, before he was arrested.

‘A man was taken into custody at the Montparnasse Tower following an illegal climb,’ said a Paris police source, confirming that the arrest happened at around 8pm.

The climber was seen scaling the 210 metre tall Tour Montparnasse, in Paris, France

The climber was seen scaling the 210 metre tall Tour Montparnasse, in Paris, France

The glass and steel edifice was completed in 1973, and remains the tallest building of its kind in the centre of the city.

The nearby Tour First is – at 758ft including its spire – taller, but it is in the suburban La Défense business district, and not central Paris.

French urban climber Alain ‘Spiderman’ Robert, 58, used his bare hands and feet to climb Montparnasse Tower in 1995 and 2015.

Urban climber Alain Robert is probably France's most famous free-style daredevils

Urban climber Alain Robert is probably France’s most famous free-style daredevils

His solo climbs have led to him being arrested on numerous occasions, but he has also done some sponsored ascents with the permission of the authorities.

During the April 2009 G-20 London summit, Robert climbed to the 9th floor of the Lloyd’s building in The City and unfurled a 100-foot banner declaring that there were 100 months left to save the planet.

Witnesses to tonight’s ascent of the Montparnasse Tower suggested Robert was not involved on this occasion, but this has not been confirmed 

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Meghan and Harry will earn fees of ‘only’ $250k to $400k for speeches

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meghan and harry will earn fees of only 250k to 400k for speeches

Meghan and Harry will earn fees of ‘only’  $250k to $400k for speeches because the level of control requested by the couple will put clients off, according to an events consultant.

The couple’s fee was originally estimated to be around $1million but this prediction has been shattered by an international agency which runs VIP corporate events in both the UK and US.         

In a leaked contract, the event creator warned that many organisations will ‘raise their eyebrows’ at the couple’s demands.

The requests are said to be similar to those adopted by all British Royals at public events – despite the Duke and Duchess stepping down as senior members to achieve more freedom. 

Meghan and Harry will earn fees of only $250k to $400k for speeches because the level of control requested by the couple will put clients off, according to an events consultant

Meghan and Harry will earn fees of only $250k to $400k for speeches because the level of control requested by the couple will put clients off, according to an events consultant 

‘Harry and Meghan coming on the speaker circuit is certainly as significant as the likes of President Obama or Arnold Schwarzenegger,’ read a virtual event request form by the Harry Walker Agency seen by The Sun.

It continued: ‘The pair are fascinating, uniquely experienced individuals, who have a wide reach, who would have been a huge draw to a live audience pre-COVID.

‘So back then figures between the 750k and $1m mark seemed steep, but possible. Realistically their earnings range is closer to $250k to $400k…

‘The contract paperwork appears to read that the speakers have full control of the client’s event. It certainly raises eyebrows and will put off many potential large corporations. 

‘Not many clients ever like inviting talent as star guests, who may be seen as running their event and telling them what to do.’

The requests state that the couple will need to give approval of each aspect of any corporate event (Meghan pictured previously during a reception at Government House in Wellington, New Zealand)

The event creator warned that many organisations will 'raise their eyebrows' at the couple's demands (Harry pictured at the OnSide Awards in November)

The requests state that the couple will need to give approval of each aspect of any corporate event with the events agency warning that many organisations will ‘raise their eyebrows’ at the couple’s demands

The requests state that the couple will need to give approval of each aspect of any corporate event, including of anyone who might introduce them or moderate discussions, as well as the ability to probe sponsors and corporations beforehand.

The form went on to say that the terms and conditions set out by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were uncommon for 99 per cent of speakers already on the circuit.    

MailOnline has contacted a representative for Meghan and Harry as well as the Harry Walker Agency for comment.

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As Covid infections double each week… what IS best for Britain, asks BEN SPENCER 

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as covid infections double each week what is best for britain asks ben spencer

It’s the debate dividing Britain. Covid infections are doubling each week and experts believe the death toll will soon start to climb. Should ministers act quickly to stop a second wave or hold off to prevent more damage to the economy? With no easy options, these are some of the possibilities they are considering.

DO NOTHING

Simply carry on through to Spring with the current level of restrictions.

Revellers enjoy drinks in Newcastle on the first day after strict coronavirus curfews were introduced

Revellers enjoy drinks in Newcastle on the first day after strict coronavirus curfews were introduced

PROS: The lockdown imposed in March successfully curbed infections, but had a devastating impact on businesses, education and the NHS. Boris Johnson is desperate to avoid a repeat. There is a strong argument that the need to act is not nearly as urgent as it was in the spring. We now know the virus has little impact on anyone other than the elderly, doctors are much better at treating it and they now have effective drugs. And although our testing system is not what it should be, capacity is 25 times bigger than it was in March. Death rates are currently tiny – with suicides, flu and pneumonia all taking far more lives than the dreaded coronavirus.

CONS: It is clear Covid is getting out of control in France, Spain and the US. Doing nothing could see Britain going down the same road – with a wave of deaths as rising infections feed through from the young into more at-risk groups.

CHANCE OF THIS HAPPENING: 1/5

LOCAL LOCKDOWNS

Localised restrictions, already imposed across swathes of the UK encompassing 13million people, could be extended when outbreaks flare.

PROS: Targeted, proportionate restrictions in virus hotspots slow the spread and spare the rest of the country. This was successfully carried out in Leicester over the summer, with rates quickly slashed.

CONS: Such specific measures rely on an effective test and trace programme – and at the moment the system is not up to scratch. Critics also point out that rates in many parts of the North West, which have been subject to restrictions for weeks, have actually continued to rise. And with local lockdown widened to the North East and Lancashire, there are now more than 13million people affected. With the lives of so many British citizens curtailed, this is arguably just a national lockdown imposed by stealth. Local action is also divisive – national unity will be badly hit if only half the country is allowed to celebrate a family Christmas.

CHANCE OF THIS HAPPENING: 4/5

SHIELDING

Most young people are barely affected by Covid. So a logical solution is to shield the elderly.

Most young people are barely affected by Covid. So a logical solution is to shield the elderly

Most young people are barely affected by Covid. So a logical solution is to shield the elderly

PROS: This could protect the most at-risk while allowing the rest of the population to keep the economy going. The Government reportedly already has tentative plans to assign each person over the age of 50 a ‘risk score’.

CONS: A crude version was used during the first lockdown, with 2.2million people with cancer, asthma and other conditions asked to stay indoors. That scheme was riddled with problems – many of those asked to shield were in fact not particularly susceptible. Any new scheme would have to be far more targeted. But it would rely heavily on age – by far the biggest risk factor for Covid. This will be resisted by many pensioners who see themselves as perfectly healthy. It is also impossible to effectively shield those who need it most – care home residents, who require contact with carers.

CHANCE OF THIS HAPPENING: 4/5

CURFEW

Curfews on the opening of bars and restaurants have already been used in many areas – and could be rolled out nationwide.

PROS: The increase in infection rates this summer was put down to young people gathering in pubs, homes and at illegal raves. Curfews, trialled in Bolton and other areas, aim to stop this by ordering restaurants and pubs to close at 10pm. This is arguably a proportionate response – asking pubs to close an hour or two early is better than forcing them to shut entirely.

CONS: It is clearly harmful to the hospitality industry and is widely seen as a chilling restriction of personal liberties. Curfews can only do so much. After all, most of the population are not out and about beyond 10pm.

CHANCE OF THIS HAPPENING: 4/5

CIRCUIT BREAK

This is the option being most carefully considered. Ministers hope a short lockdown – lasting as little as two weeks – would stop the pattern of infection and reinfection driving cases up.

PROS: If people do not meet and interact, the virus cannot pass between them, the chain of transmission is broken and infection rates will stop rising. If this is done quickly it could nip the problem in the bud before rates rise to dangerous levels. And if it is imposed over the October half term, it would have a limited impact on children’s education. Scientists hope such a measure would also give some breathing room to allow the testing programme to get back on track. And if infection rates drop far enough, it might even allow Christmas to take place after all.

CONS: Scientists worry that as soon as restrictions are lifted, cases would rise again. This raises the prospect of the country following an ‘on-off’ lockdown pattern until a vaccine becomes available. Two weeks might simply not be long enough – meaning restrictions might drag on and on and turn into a full lockdown.

CHANCE OF THIS HAPPENING: 4/5

NATIONAL LOCKDOWN

A return to spring-style nationwide measures which led to most people having to work from home, with schools, non-essential shops and workplaces shut.

A return to spring-style nationwide measures would see most people having to work from home, with venues such as pubs closed

A return to spring-style nationwide measures would see most people having to work from home, with venues such as pubs closed

PROS: If Covid infections get out of control, and if they coincide with a bad winter flu season, the death toll could be monumental. Mr Johnson might be left with little choice but to order another lockdown. There are also ways to soften the blow – primarily keeping schools open. Many scientists now believe closing schools was unnecessary last time round. Children are not in danger from the virus yet untold harm was done to their education and mental health by keeping them at home. It also made it hard for parents to work.

CONS: This is the ‘nuclear’ option the Prime Minister does not want to take, an extreme that even the gloomiest of scientists do not currently advocate. With ‘crisis fatigue’ setting in, he also might find it much harder to persuade people to follow the rules a second time round. And even a pared-back version of national restrictions would risk doing more harm than good. The economy is already holed below the water line – a return to lockdown could sink it completely.

CHANCE OF THIS HAPPENING: 2/5

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