Lottery couple sued by their own son who claims he was cut out of £101m fortune during drunken row 

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An ex-naval officer whose father won £101 million on the lottery is now suing him after he was cut out of his fortune following a drunken row at his step-mother’s birthday party.

Former factory worker Dave Dawes, who hit the Euromillions jackpot with his wife, Angela, in 2011, is being accused by his estranged son of becoming "rather grand" and "ungenerous in spirit" since his bonanza.

Afghanistan veteran Michael Dawes, 32, has taken him to court, accusing him of withholding money despite promising him he would "always be looked after".

The spectacular win transformed Mr Dawes overnight from being an industrious factory worker to a multi-millionaire who need never work again.

But Mr Dawes, from Wisbech, Cambs, and his wife "did not keep their £101m prize to themselves", their QC, Richard Wilson, told Central London County Court.

"One of their first actions after receiving their money was to share their good fortune with members of their family, giving away substantial amounts to family and close friends", he said.

Overall, the couple have lavished £30million on their kin and closest friends, the court heard, as well as setting up their own charity.

Two of the main beneficiaries of the couple’s largesse were Michael and his civil partner, James Beedle, 34, the court heard.

James Beedle outside court

Credit:
NEVILE AYLING

Although Mr Dawes, 53, and Angela, 49, say they showered £1.5million on Michael and his partner in just two years after the win, the couple "have not repaid this generosity with gratitude", Mr Wilson claimed.

"Instead, they appear to have developed a sense of entitlement such that they are now bringing this claim to court", he added.

Accusing Michael of "burning through" much of the cash his dad gave him, Mr Wilson said his case boils down to claims that Dave and Angela are obliged to keep "topping up" his income indefinitely.

But Michael, who was serving in Afghanistan when his dad got lucky, insisted he was given repeated assurances that he would never be short of cash.

And he told the court that, when his dad phoned him from the UK to give him the good news about his win, he promised that, "I would always be looked after".

He and his partner had been assured the money would keep rolling in and based a series of key life decisions on that assumption – including James, a former lieutenant in the Royal Navy Fleet Auxiliary, giving up his services career.

Michael and James are now seeking a ruling that, for as long as Dave and Angela live, they are obliged to keep financially supporting them.

Michael, a onetime lecturer at Southampton University, also claims that Dave is holding a £200,000 investment "on trust" for him

He said the money from his dad and step-mother had helped him with his mortgage, to buy a BMW, and also to help out his own friends and his partner’s family.

Several times between 2011 and 2012 he had "run out of money", but his dad had always "topped up" his account, the court heard. But by March 2013 his father was getting "concerned" about Michael’s rate of spending, said Mr Wilson.

Michael Dawes outside the Royal Courts of Justice

Credit:
 NEVILE AYLING

Dave and Angela suggested that he receive regular payments rather than "bulk" hand-outs.

But the QC insisted they never led Michael to believe there was a "bottomless pit from which he could get money whenever he wanted".

Cross-examining Michael, the barrister said Dave had begun to "express disapproval and concern that you were spending money so fast."

But Michael told the court: "My expectation was that this was an ongoing process, that there was more money coming in, and that this would be the process throughout my life".

He agreed there had been "ups and downs" in his relationship with his dad, but insisted that Dave "always wanted the best" for him and his brother, Matt.

He had scarcely met his step-mother, Angela, before their lottery coup, and they "didn’t get on well" at their first meeting in 2008, he added.

"I found her very particular about what she wanted to eat, and quite fussy," said Michael.

Tensions developed between him and Angela after the win, climaxing at her birthday party in November 2013 when Michael turned up without a gift for her.

Asked by Mr Wilson why he failed to bring a gift, Michael explained that he had bought flowers instead as he knew she loved them.

And he told the court: "What do you give someone who has everything?"

Tempers flared during the party as father and son rowed about money, but Michael denied that he told his father he "didn’t deserve what he’d got".

He accepted that he was the worse for drink by the early hours, but claimed that Dave "tried to come at me" and had to be held back by other party-goers.

After the "drunken disagreement", Michael sent an apologetic card to Dave on Fathers’ Day, but there has been a rift between them ever since, the court was told.

"They have not spoken since and Dave and Angela’s financial support has ceased," added Mr Wilson.

Michael explained that the case was a "personal tragedy" for him, but he felt that the row with his dad had been "essentially trivial".

And he accused Dave and Angela of showing "arrogance and ungenerosity of spirit".

"I saw how over time their attitude changed from being relatively humble to being rather grand. They expected the people around them to treat them differently because of their money," claimed Michael.

Judge Nigel Gerald has now reserved his judgment on the case and will give his ruling at a later date.

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