Spying dentist loses legal battle over fees

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A DENTIST who ‘failed to act like a gentleman’ towards his ex-fiancée has been ordered to pay legal costs of around £130,000.

Mark Singh had previously been involved in a bitter battle with Milton Keynes-based barrister Moira Walsh involving an engagement ring, a horse called Hopeless and a villa in Italy.

In March last year, Judge Charles Purle ordered that Mr Singh should pay the fees despite the fact he had defeated her claim for a half share of the home they shared for eight years, but which he had bought.

Keen horsewoman Miss Walsh moved into Mr Singh’s home in Leicestershire in 1999, but they split in 2005.

Mr Singh had then tired, but failed, to claim back £80,000 from Miss Walsh which the pair had lost from an equestrian business they had set up at the 37 acre property.

It was said at the original hearing in December 2009 that a stallion called Hopeless lived up to its name and failed to sire any foals.

Miss Walsh, 39, also retained her engagement ring, along with another ring and two loans worth £32,500. But a battle over a villa in Italy which both claimed as their own ended with it remaining jointly owned.

Mr Singh, who runs his dentist practice from Coventry, had offered her £85,000 in cash and all her costs to settle the claim back in January 2009. But she turned him down.

He claimed this meant she should pay a share of his costs. But Judge Purle said an attempt to spy on her by putting spyware software onto her laptop in a bid to prove she was a ‘fantasist’ meant he should pay his own costs.

The judge had had to stop cross examination of her describing it as “bullying” and held that Mr Singh “had acted in a manner which was ungentlemanly to put it at its lowest.”

At the Court of Appeal on Thursday, Lady Justice Arden, sitting with Lady Justice Black and Mr Justice David Richards, said his actions at trial “had been calculated to belittle and discredit Miss Walsh, portraying her as a silly woman who lived in a fantasy world.”

Mr Singh’s barrister Michael Roberts had told the appeal judges Judge Purle had treated Miss Walsh as a damsel in distress, and had unfairly “hung out to dry” Mr Singh, who he treated as “a bit of a cad.”

But the appeal judges unanimously upheld the ruling that each side pay their own costs.