The £3m property love triangle

The £3m property love triangle


The multimillion property portfolio of a fallen accountant lies at the heart of an increasingly bitter love triangle whose dramatic history was played out in the high court on Tuesday. 

The court heard how Peter and Patricia Rust began investing in property using their joint funds in 2000. Despite being separated since 1999, they used their combined wealth to buy more properties – Lyndhurst Cottage, Clarob Cottage and 26 Cage End.


At the time, Mr Rust – a 61-year-old accountant whose fortune is said to stretch to millions – lived with Virginia Madden; a much younger stable girl with whom he’d been having an affair since 1993, and eventually left his wife for. Unbeknownst to Mrs Rust, now 58, he bought the investment properties in both his and Miss Madden’s names. 


Incredibly, it wasn’t until five years later – whilst Mr Rust was being tried for money laundering offences – that Mrs Rust came across papers relating to the trial which revealed that the houses were also bought in the mistress’ name.


Even more startling was that Miss Madden had continued to work as the stable girl for Mrs Rust, looking after her daughters’ show horses.


In 2006 Mr Rust was jailed for money laundering, and his stable-girl-live-in-mistress left him. However, his long standing wife carried on visiting him in prison and didn’t follow through with the divorce she had been threatening.


However, a year later Mr Rust’s conviction was quashed at a retrial and he was acquitted in 2007. But his career never recovered; his reputation damaged beyond repair, he was no longer able to work for his previous firm, Fordyce Curry. 


Somewhat unluckily, Mr Rust’s fortunes were about to take another turn for the worse when David Brampton, a 44-year-old computer programmer who had used Mr Rust as an accountant, successfully sued him, and won an order for £950,000.


Mr Brampton had been charged alongside Mr Rust and upheld that he was liable for deceit and dishonesty. But the shamed accountant didn’t pay up and a court order demanding he sell his properties was issued.


And this has led to the latest twist; triggering Tuesday’s court proceedings as both Mrs Rust and former mistress, Miss Madden have come forward claiming their stakes in Mr Rust’s 3.2 million property empire.


The wife claims to have a 50 per cent share in six of the homes and the mistress claims a 50 per cent share in five of the homes. Mr Rust is taking no part in the proceedings.


The case continues.

Leave a comment