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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was engaged to marry Miss. C Harrold in August 2013. She

Customer Question

I was engaged to marry Miss. C Harrold in August 2013. She has an extremely wealthy father who had never been there for her, but tried to make up for this by giving her everything she wanted financially for our wedding. Unfortunately, I made some terrible mistakes and we ended our relationship in June 2013, shortly before we were due to get married.

Her father, Steve Harrold, is threatening me ambiguously if I do not pay back a portion of the money he has 'lost' from us not getting married. This was an extremely upsetting and traumatic time for me and my ex fiancee, whilst I was thrown out of the flat...he collected all of my possessions and took them away to a storage unit.

He then blackmailed me into giving them whatever they wanted in order for me to get the access codes to this storage unit located somewhere in London. I agreed in principle via email, that I would of course try to contribute something financially back - he wanted me to give him £6000.

I am in no position to be able to afford this kind of money, and whilst me and Charlotte parted amicably in the end - her father is still pursuing this blood money. I have paid around £750 in the beginning, but have made no further payments since I saw Charlotte and we parted ways.

I received an email from Steve Harrold this morning:

Sam ,

You will have taken note that I have not put you under any pressure in the last 6 months , but clearly you are not meeting the commitments you made - to me and your father . I believe you need to stick to your pledge and start making payments to Charlotte . If you don't , then you will be the poorer for it .

I want to know legally speaking, whether I am under any lawful commitment to pay this man anything? The only commitment he has from me in an email is:

"Whilst I simply cannot meet £500 per month immediately, I want to repay this debt as soon as I possibly can - and a minimum of £250 per month is the basis for me to be able to start doing this. I'm will not pretend I can pay you anymore any sooner just to get my possessions back, so I hope that you can understand I am at my limit before I have even started to try to find some where else to live."

He is clearly threatening me, and I am not sure what it is he is planning on doing should I not adhere to his payment regime. He is an extremely wealthy man, and so I am afraid that he would waste a lot of money trying to make my life difficult just because he has the finances to do so.

This man was sacked for racketeering money from Coca Cola as he was a former CEO, he gained inside information on the companies decisions to buy new companies and would then buy shares in those new companies which resulted in him making £85'000 in a day. He was exposed and then prosecuted, which I know is still under way.

It is a difficult situation and I would just like to know where I stand legally with repaying a debt I have partially agreed to via email for this wedding. I am an honest man, but I simply can't afford to pay anything back at this time. I also do not believe that it is the right thing to it just feels like blackmail.

In the future I may be able to afford something more, but I certainly don't plan on giving Steve any more money this year.

What potential consequences could come of this, and what risks am I taking by not complying with his threats ?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Sorry for the delay

Is there any reason he holds you responsible for this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I had was unfaithful to my girlfriend, and was obviously honest about the mistake. He thus holds me responsible for us not getting married.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

I really don't think you need to worry about this. Being unfaithful is not an offence in the UK.

However you behaved that is a relationship issue. Obviously you shouldn't have been unfaithful as you know and he is entitled to be displeased about it.

Whatever grievances he has though, they will not turn a gift into a loan. The fact that the relationship broke down does not mean you have to return all gifts.

The only way this is sustainable in law is for him to argue that the gifts were conditional upon you marrying her which is fine but even then the claim that he has is jointly against his daughter. He can't recover from you to punish you for mistreating her which, in any event, is a matter for her not him.

I wouldn't waste your time on this.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.