Dr Chris Rowland, a former city analyst who once earned over £1m a year, bought sprawling nine-bedroom Tadmarton House, near Banbury in Oxfordshire, in March 2009
A two-timing millionaire who was caught in bed with another woman has won £120,000 compensation from his ex after she banned him from visiting their £1.6m weekend mansion with his other girlfriend.
Dr Chris Rowland, a former city analyst who once earned over £1m a year, bought sprawling nine-bedroom Tadmarton House, near Banbury in Oxfordshire, in March 2009.
He had been planning to use it as a weekend country retreat with his then partner, eco-business executive Sharon Blades.
But in November that year, their relationship began to unravel after Ms Blades discovered Dr Rowland had taken up with another relationship.
He was seeing both girlfriends for over a year until a dramatic clash occurred after Ms Blades caught him in bed with the other woman at his flat in 2011.
The incident resulted in Ms Blades, 60, – who had issued a “veto” banning Dr Rowland from visiting Tadmarton House with the other woman – accepting a police caution for “assaulting” his other lover.
Last year, the pair fought a court case over ownership of the mansion, with a top judge ruling that they were equal owners and it must be split between them.
But Dr Rowland also claimed a payout to compensate him for being “excluded” from his own mansion between 2009 and 2015 – which he had planned to use for weekends and holidays.
He has now been awarded £120,000 at the High Court after Judge Milwyn Jarman found that the veto meant Dr Rowland lost the use of a “grand weekend and holiday home” for those years.
In court Dr Rowland, 65, admitted carrying on seeing both women for several months and acknowledged he was “not proud of that fact”.
“But I was emotionally attached to both women and each of them wanted me to choose between them, and I had real trouble making that choice,” he told the court.
In March, Judge Hansen ruled against Dr Rowland, who had insisted that he exclusively owned Tadmarton House since he paid the full price out of his own pocket.
The judge said he and Ms Blades had taken on the property as joint tenants, although acknowledging: “In one sense the outcome is a harsh one for Dr Rowland who contributed the whole of the purchase price.”
He judged that the property was owned in equal shares by the couple and ordered that it be sold with the profits split down the middle.
But he went on to award Dr Rowland just over £59,000 for his lost access to Tadmarton House between 2009 and 2015 when Ms Blades barred him from visiting with his new partner.
Dr Rowland said that in 2009 Ms Blades “vetoed” him and his new woman from visiting the country mansion and had even written to him stating: “I’d rather you sell it and have nothing than have the risk of her going up there.
“It was ‘our’ place and if nothing else I’d like to keep that memory even if I don’t physically have it or am able to be there anymore”.
Last month, Dr Rowland appealed the £59,958 award, asking Judge Milwyn Jarman QC to hike his compensation to what he claimed was the fairer figure of £216,199.
His barrister, Paul Dipre, argued that Dr Rowland was “effectively thrown out for the weekends”, and that Judge Hansen had wrongly assessed the loss he suffered.
But Ms Blades’ lawyers said her ex’s compensation should have been calculated on the basis of his “loss of enjoyment” of the weekend bolthole – rather than on its holiday rental value.
Judge Jarman, allowing Dr Rowland’s appeal, accepted that the loss of enjoyment factor was the primary issue, but decided the £59,000 pay-out was insufficient.
He awarded Dr Rowland £120,000 compensation and rejected Ms Blades’ “cross-appeal” which urged that her ex should only have been compensated to the tune of £36,000.