Parents of brain-damaged girl spent £2.6m compensation on sports cars and jewellery
The parents of a severely brain-damaged girl blew her £2.6million compensation on a lavish lifestyle, a court has heard.
Cathy Watson and her husband Robert Hills allegedly used the money to buy sports cars, jewellery, property and racking up huge credit card bills.
The couple allegedly pocketed £500,000 over an eight-year period that was set aside for Cathy’s daughter Samantha Svendsen, Doncaster Crown Court heard.
The girl, who is now aged 29, was given a payout in December 1999 after the NHS admitted medical negligence leaving her with cerebral palsy.
Jurors were told Svendsen’s mother and stepfather behaved ‘as though they had won the lottery’.
Watson, now 44, was given £270,000 to cover expenses she had already incurred, and the rest of the £2.6million payout was given to the Court of Protection for the child’s benefit.
Samatha’s mother and Hills, now 49, were given a ‘generous’ £4,000 a month for household expenses to compensate them for not being able to work through providing full-time care.
Katherine Robinson, prosecuting, said that the couple bought a property in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, in February 2000 for £22,500 – under a council right to buy scheme, using part of the £270,000 paid to Watson for her own use.
They later claimed £213,000 to from the Court of Protection to buy three properties – including the one they had already purchased.
Miss Robinson said: ‘The money was never used to buy that house because they already owned it.’
They subsequently sold the property for £74,000 and spent the cash.
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