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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Millionaire who offered wife £83 divorce settlement agrees to pay substantial sum

A multi-millionaire who offered his ex-wife just £83 to settle their divorce has finally agreed to pay her a substantial sum.

Sally Nightingale photo
Sally Nightingale

Christopher Nightingale, 55, told the Old Bailey in London he was heavily in debt and claimed his ex-wife Sally, 54, did not appreciate money “because she never had to work”.

But Mrs Nightingale, who lives in Appleby Castle, said she was “cash poor” and needed money from their legal dispute to pay the costs of the 12th century castle.

Mrs Nightingale, who lives in the Grade I listed castle which has a keep known as Caesar’s Tower and an adjoining mansion house, has been battling for a fair portion of her husband's shares in computer firm Citadel101.

He had agreed to give her a quarter of his holding in the profitable business, based in Dublin, but claimed last July the shares had declined in value by nearly 20,000 times.

The case has been hit with multiple delays after Mr Nightingale, a qualified lawyer, claimed he did not even have the money to pay his lawyers. Philip Cayford QC, for Mr Nightingale, said his client had managed to “borrow” some funds to pay for his services.

The couple, who have three children together, failed to even make eye-contact at the hearing.

Rejecting an application to adjourn from Mr Cayford, he demanded that the case not be allowed to waste further court time.

Mr Justice Holman previously called the sale of the business “a matter of astonishment”, while Mrs Nightingale told the Sunday Times in January: “I'm not greedy. I'm asset rich but cash poor and need that money to pay the costs of the castle.

“He's trying to starve me out but I intend to fight for the money he promised.”.

The parties reached a private agreement.

Mr Justice Mostyn said: “'I am pleased that you have settled the case, Mr and Mrs Nightingale, and I hope you are able to move forward with your lives now.”

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