THREE brothers who were left empty-handed after their mum gave her entire £850,000 fortune to their sister are fighting for a second time to overturn the will.
Remo, Nino and David Rea have already lost one court fight with their sister Rita over their mum Anna's decision to leave everything to her only daughter.
Anna Rea was 86 when she died in July 2016, leaving her £850,000 home in Brenda Road, Tooting, south London to Rita, for whom she always had a "soft spot."
In her final December 2015 will, she wrote: "I give my daughter my property absolutely as she has taken care of me for all these years."
"My sons have not taken care of me and my daughter, Rita, has been my sole carer for many years."
The brothers later challenged their mum's will in the High Court, claiming Rita, 56, had poisoned their mum against them.
They wanted the judge to rule in favour of their mum's previous 1986 will, which split her fortune equally between all four of the children.
But at the end of the case, Judge Jonathan Arkush found the will was valid and there was no evidence to support the brothers' accusations.
He ruled: "She had reached her own decision on the matter and her mind had not been poisoned by anyone."
The brothers, who are now appealing the case, had no legal representation during the trial and much of their case was presented by motorbike race manager David Rea.
Rita, on the other hand, had a barrister on her side.
The brothers claimed the trial was unfair, even ending up with "bickering" in the witness box.
Robin Howard – the barrister who has now taken up the brothers' bid to appeal the High Court ruling – said the brothers' lack of representation resulted in the trial becoming fraught and highly charged.
When one of Rita's brothers had to cross-examine her in the witness box, tempers began to flare, the court heard.
Mr Howard said: "The judge was obliged to intervene and take over, and while he was able to impose order and extract clear answers from the witness to some points, the whole exercise was not satisfactory.
"The appellants certainly did not get the opportunity to cross examine properly."
Ex tennis coach Rita had moved into her mum's home in 2009 to help care for her following a heart attack.
She claimed her brothers provided little support for their mum, although in 2015 a rota was set up by Nino and David to cover Anna's care.
After the trial, the brothers received a text from their mum's old neighbour suggesting Rita and her mum had a volatile relationship.
Of the potential witness, Mr Howard said: "She stated that she saw and heard Rita 'every day screaming and shouting at (her mother). It is always loud as Anna is deaf."
The case will now return to court at a later date.
Source: Read Full Article