Doreen Crowther was screaming after hearing she may lose her home to ex-husband Robert
Doreen Crowther, 46, bought the house with the inheritance from her late mother, whose dying wish, she said, was that her ex, Robert, 40, who is on benefits, would not get a penny.
But after being told she might have to sell it to pay him a share, she began screaming and launched into a foulmouthed tirade at Robert and his lawyers at the Court of Appeal.
Senior judges retreated to back offices and security guards were called to drag the devastated mother from the building in central London.
It means the long-running case, which began in 2010, will have to go back to court again to decide whether Mr Crowther gets half of the house.
“He is holding me to ransom for my mother’s house,” said Mrs Crowther during the hearing on Thursday. “He is dragging me through the courts to make me look stupid.”
The four-bed house has been bought with Mrs Crowther’s inheritance, the court heard
He is holding me to ransom for my mother’s house
The court heard the couple married in 1997 and split in 2007 with only their home in Amherst Rise, Worksop, Notts, as a significant asset.
The four-bed house, which is worth about £200,000, had been bought with Mrs Crowther’s inheritance from her mother in 2002.
When they finally divorced, Mr Crowther moved into a single room at his parents’ home near Milton Keynes, and is still there more than seven years later.
He claimed their former home should be sold and the proceeds split so he could buy his own flat.
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Mr Crowther moved into a single room at his parents’ home after the divorce
But Mrs Crowther said the fact he was living in a single room, while she remains in their former matrimonial home, was “justice” for what he had put her through during a difficult marriage.
He had been “incapable of looking after money”, running up debts which had cost her more than £80,000, she claimed.
The case reached a divorce court in Oxford in 2015 when Judge Robin Tolson QC decided Mrs Crowther should keep the house.
Making her sell up and move to a poorer part of town might be too much for the mother-of-one, who has had mental health issues, he said.
And he said he was not sure that Mr Crowther, who uses a wheelchair and walks with sticks, would even be able to live independently.
Mrs Crowther screamed that she was in 'a cage' and would 'kill' her ex-husband
But Lord Justice McFarlane, sitting with Lady Justice Macur and Lord Justice Henderson, said Judge Tolson had gone too far.
He added: “I can understand why both parties wish closure on this issue, which has been open between them for nearly ten years.”
He ordered the case to be sent back to a family judge to decide what Mr Crowther is entitled to.
The ruling immediately sparked Mrs Crowther’s outburst, as she screamed that she was in “a cage” and would “kill” her ex-husband.