Page last updated at 09:49 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 10:49 UK

Daughter's fight to reclaim farm

Dr Christine Gill
Dr Gill looked after her mother following her father's death in 1999

For more than 30 years, Christine Gill devoted her life to helping her parents run the £2m sprawling farm in North Yorkshire that she knew as home.

She started work on the 287-acre estate as a girl and would do jobs such as driving tractors, stacking bales and preparing grain for crops.

When she left to go to university, she returned at the weekends and in the holidays to help out her parents Joyce and John.

She even chose her job as a statistics lecturer at Leeds University, because the flexibility allowed her to help out during the holidays.

As an only child, Dr Gill then assumed the farm would eventually be passed down through the family.

'No reason'

She and her husband Andrew Baczkowski bought an uninhabited farm next door in order to be close.

When her father died in 1999, aged 82, she spent more time looking after her mother and running the farm.

But on the death of Joyce in 2006, she discovered that her parents had decided she would get nothing.

Unknown to Dr Gill and for no apparent reason, the 1993 wills had left her parents' estate to each other and then to the RSPCA, when they both were dead.

Dr Gill said the will was made before her son Christopher was born and that her father may have been disappointed that he did not have a male heir at the time.

'Soul ripped out'

But she says now Christopher is "very keen" on the farm.

And so last July she started a High Court battle under the 1975 Inheritance Act in a bid to challenge the will and reclaim Potto Carr Farm.

A court hearing last year was told Dr Gill felt "as if her soul had been ripped out of her" when she made the discovery about the wills.

She claims her parents made repeated assurances to her over the years that the farm would be left to her when they died.

Dr Gill claims her mother was coerced into making the will by her father and that she had medical conditions which affected her ability to make decisions.

Under the act, any child who feels that they have not been adequately provided for in their parents' will can ask the court to make financial provision for them by changing the will.

Now Dr Gill's desperate legal fight has come to an end with a judge ruling in her favour.



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SEE ALSO
RSPCA will woman's mental problem
10 Nov 08 |  North Yorkshire
Woman fights parents' RSPCA will
15 Jul 08 |  North Yorkshire
Woman cut out of will for RSPCA
04 Oct 07 |  North Yorkshire

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