Published: 00:01, 03 May 2015
A woman has been left with nothing but an Airedale terrier following her split from her partner of more than 30 years.
Pamela Curran, 57, said she worked for only £50-a-week for her childhood sweetheart, Brian Collins, 54, and was left destitute when they split up.
However, in a case which stands as a bitter warning to unmarried couples, three Appeal Court judges this week ruled she was entitled to nothing more than she got.
Miss Curran campaigned for a share of The Haven boarding kennels and cattery, in Mersham, insisting that was the least she deserved for her decades with Mr Collins.
Her lawyers claimed she had been led to believe by her ex that she was a business partner and joint owner - despite everything being in his name.
There was no other reason she would have worked such long hours for such little pay, her barrister, Sarah Crowther, claimed.
However, Lady Justice Arden said Mr Collins had paid for The Haven, as well as previous homes, and had told Miss Curran explicitly that her name would not be on the title deeds.
Refusing to recognise her as a co-owner, “he made it expressly clear to her that the property purchases were his alone”.
"He made it expressly clear to her that the property purchases were his alone..." - Lady Justice Arden
She was not a partner in the business and, on her tax returns, declared that she was an employee, earning £50-a-week.
The judge, sitting with Lords Justice Davis and Lewison, said that Miss Curran had “mistakenly reinterpreted the past and made unwarranted accusations against Mr Collins”.
The court earlier heard Mr Collins paid £750,000 for The Haven in 2007 after the couple’s 11 Airedales outgrew their west London home.
The couple had been together since about 1977, but the relationship ended in 2010 when Mr Collins "excluded" her from the property.
Following the split, all she was left with was one of their terriers.
Homeless, she had to rely on friends for somewhere to stay.
Judge Hazel Marshall in 2012 ordered Mr Collins to pay his ex-partner £3,500 for her share in their pack of pedigree Airedales.
However, she ruled that Miss Curran was not entitled to a penny more - and the Appeal Court upheld that decision as unimpeachable.
Having lost her case, Miss Curran now faces legal costs bills which are likely to run well into six figures.