After a week in the glare of the media spotlight, the millionaire accountant,
his wife, stablegirl lover and former client have settled their High Court row
over his property empire.
Former love rivals Patricia Rust and Virginia Madden were vying against each
other as a former client of Peter Rust attempted to enforce a £950,000 judgement
In 2008, David Bampton successfully sued Mr Rust over “negligent” and ”
deceitful” advice he was given and was awarded the compensation.
Mr Bampton wanted Mr Rust, 61, to sell a string of properties – valued last
summer at more than £3.2m – he owns so he could get his money.
But lawyers for both Mrs Rust and Ms Madden said they had a “beneficial
interest” in some or all of the residential homes and they either shouldn’t have
been put on the market, or if they were, they were entitled to some of the sale
Today, lawyers for Mr Bampton, Mrs Rust and Ms Madden – as well as Mr Rust’s
parents – settled the case on confidential grounds.
This week the court heard that Mr Rust lived with wife Patricia, his two
daughters, and his parents William and Ellen, in Barnfield House, Hatfield Broad
Oak, Bishops Stortford, Herts, after moving there in 1990.
In 1993, Mr Rust began seeing stable girl, Virginia Madden, who was in her
early 20s at the time, carrying on the affair for six years without his wife
When Mrs Rust discovered what was going on, she asked Mr Rust to leave
Barnfield House, and he then purchased Broomshawbury Cottage, also in Hatfield
Broad Oak, to use as a love nest with Miss Madden.
Barrister, Jared Dann, for Miss Madden, said she continued to work as a
stablegirl for Mrs Rust, but her relationship with Mr Rust finally broke down
after he was imprisoned for money laundering offences in 2006.
His conviction was later quashed, and he was acquitted at a retrial.
It was Mr Dann’s case that Miss Madden, 39, had a 50% beneficial interest in
£825,000 Broomshawbury Cottage as well as four other investment properties, also
all in Hatfield Broad Oak, which the barrister said were purchased in Ms Madden
and Mr Rust’s joint names.
Ms Madden now lives at one of them, Buttercup Cottage, and wants to stay
But Mrs Rust, 58, said she in fact had a 50% interest in the four investment
properties Miss Madden was laying claim to, Broomshawbury Cottage as well as an
additional one in Braintree, Essex. Her legal team also said she had a 50%
interest in £1.2m Barnfield House where she still lives.
Barrister, Hefin Rees, insisted that Mr Rust used money from joint accounts
to purchase the properties.
To make matters more complicated, Mr Rust’s parents – who are in there 80s –
said they were entitled to a life interest in Barnfield House.
It looked as if Judge David Donaldson QC would be called on to unravel the
complex web, but after today’s settlement, he won’t need to.
At the High Court in 2008, Sir Charles Gray said that Mr Rust and his firm –
Fordyce Curry & Co – advised IT entrepreneur Mr Bampton over a string of
investments in 2003 in a group of companies called Five Anchors Group. Most of
the companies within that group went into liquidation.
Mr Bampton (corr) later pleaded guilty to 10 counts relating to an advanced
fee fraud and was convicted of two further counts of conspiring to furnish false
information, while Mr Rust was convicted of money laundering and conspiring to
furnish false information. Mr Rust was later cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
Sir Charles said that he was satisfied that Mr Bampton’s claims against both
Mr Rust and Fordyce Curry “in both negligence and deceit” were made out.
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