BA pilot, 65, blasts 'appalling' family courts amid divorce battle

Millionaire ex-BA pilot, 65, who denied daughter was his own and bombarded third wife with emails amid 20-year divorce battle blasts ‘appalling’ family courts and says 34 hearings in his absence breached his human rights

  • BA captain Richard Wilmot has been embroiled in 20 year divorce battle with ex
  • The four time married pilot has lost court fights and been criticised by judges
  • In October he was barred from making further applications for court orders
  • Today he slammed family courts and says his human rights have been breached 

A ex-British Airways captain who has been embroiled in a 20 year divorce battle with his ex wife today blasted family courts as ‘appalling’ and claims his human rights have been breached.

Four times married Richard Wilmot, 65, spent 16 years denying his daughter was his own and bombarded his ex Viki Maughan with emails during the two decade long legal fight. 

The pilot, who lives on the Isle of Man, says he has asked the European Court of Human Rights to look at his case because several hearings had been staged without him.

In an interview today he complained about the way his case had been handled, after he lost court fights and was criticised by a High Court judge who oversaw the most recent stage of the litigation in October last year.

Mr Wilmot said more than 30 hearings had been staged in his absence because he had not been ‘served notice’ and said so he did not think he had been fairly treated.

He said his underlying argument was that the case should have been heard in Germany not Britain. He said Miss Maughan, who had also worked for British Airways and been a cabin services director, was German and, he said, they had spent most of their married life living in Germany.

 Richard Wilmot (pictured) who lives on the Isle of Man, says he has asked the European Court of Human Rights to look at his case because several hearings had been staged without him. Right: His ex wife Viki Maughan

He said: ‘My experience of the family courts in England has been appalling. This should have been argued in Germany.

‘It has got nothing to do with the UK family courts. I have complained to the European Court of Human Rights. There have been 34 hearings in my absence.

‘I feel that is a breach of my human rights. I haven’t heard back from the European court yet.’

After a hearing at the Family Division of the High Court in London in October, Mr Justice Mostyn barred Mr Wilmot from harassing Ms Maughan, who is in her 50s.

Mr Wilmot (pictured) spent 16 years accusing his wife of being a liar and claiming that his daughter was not his 

Ms Maughan and Mr Wilmot had lived in idyllic £800,000 country pile (pictured) in Cranbrook, Kent, before they separated in the late 1990s

He concluded that Mr Wilmot had ‘grossly harassed’ his ex and her lawyers and described the case as one of the worst examples of ‘vexatious litigation misconduct’. 

The judge’s order barred Mr Wilmot from ‘pursuing any conduct’ which amounts to harassment, and a ‘general civil restraint order’, which stops him making court applications without permission. 

He said Mr Wilmot’s ‘activities’ had led to his ex-wife running up legal bills of more than £40,000.

Mr Wilmot and Miss Maughan separated in 1997 after marrying in 1991.

While together, Ms Maughan and Mr Wilmot had lived in idyllic £800,000 country pile in Cranbrook, Kent, until the marriage broke down and he branded her a ‘liar’ and accused her of fathering their child with another man. 

Mr Wilmot has flown for British Airways as well as Turkish Airlines and has been battling his ex in the courts for 20 years 

Divorce court proceedings began in 1999 and Mr Justice Mostyn said, in a written ruling published in October, that there had been ‘dozens of hearings’ before ‘numerous judges’.

In early 2018, Mr Justice Mostyn had ordered Mr Wilmot to pay Miss Maughan nearly £600,000.

The order to pay the back maintenance and legal costs was made by a High Court judge who slammed Mr Wilmot for his ‘utter folly’ as he ruled he is ‘beyond any doubt at all’ the father of a child he has denied was his for 16 years.

Mr Wilmot insisted his ex was ‘a liar’ and that the girl was fathered, not by him, but by a lover he claimed Ms Maughan was secretly seeing before they divorced.

During the March 2018 hearing, Lord Justice Lloyd outlined Mr Wilmot’s allegation that the 2001 divorce settlement was ‘obtained by fraud on the part of Ms Maughan’.

He said: ‘In particular, he claims that she pretended…to be financially entirely dependent on him when in fact, he says, she was in a relationship with and financially supported by her new lover.

‘Mr Wilmot has been contending for years that the paternity declaration in relation to this daughter was not reliable and should be set aside.

‘He says two samples were switched… he has been contending that Ms Maughan has been lying and fabricating evidence and withholding material for years.’

But the judge ruled that ‘recorded scientific evidence’, following a new DNA test carried out in Germany, has ‘concluded that the probability that Captain Wilmot was the true father of the child was 99.999999 per cent.’

The test ‘demonstrates beyond any doubt at all that Captain Wilmot is the father,’ he said, ordering him to pay almost £25,000 to put the girl through university.

Mr Justice Mostyn also ordered him to pay almost £115,000 in back maintenance – and the ‘astonishing figure’ of more than £290,000 in legal costs.

Adding in other legal bills, and the cost of a receiver working to ‘recover’ funds from Mr Wilmot’s assets ‘for the benefit of Ms Maughan,’ he was ordered to pay £593,598. 

The judge also imposed an email ban on Mr Wilmot after his ex-wife complained about messages sent to her solicitor. 

But in the October hearing Mr Justice Mostyn said that Mr Wilmot had breached that email ban and sent the solicitor ‘dozens of messages’.

He added that he hoped that his ruling would ‘bring closure’ adding, ‘after all, I reasoned that following the implementation of my order made on that occasion there would be nothing left to litigate about,’ he said.

‘That was, predictably, a hope built on sand. Since then (Mr Wilmot) has continued his campaign.’

Mr Justice Mostyn added: ‘He has continued to bombard the court with emails and spurious applications.’     

Mr Wilmot later remarried and set his new family up in another upmarket £800,000 country home in Alcombe, Somerset.

Earlier hearings revealed that he also owned a £500,000 18th-century listed house in Dunster, Somerset, and had property in Kirkmichael, Isle of Man.    

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