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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 19:41 GMT 20:41 UK
Family dispute continues over antiques
Family are in dispute over division of heirlooms
Family are in dispute over division of heirlooms
Efforts are under way to resolve a bitter four-year dispute between family members at a country estate in County Down which has already seen an heiress jailed.

Marion Scarlett Needham Russell, 33, was sentenced to two weeks in prison for contempt of court last week.

She had refused to reveal the whereabouts of antiques and paintings worth 250,000 she had taken from Mourne Park House in Kilkeel.

A direct descendant of the Earl of Kilmorey, she has been locked in a feud with her sister Debonair Norah Needham Horsman, 35, and brother Philip James Anley, 26, over the ownership of 750,000 worth of family heirlooms.

Marion Scarlett Needham Russell went to prison over antiques
Marion Scarlett Needham Russell went to prison over antiques

Mrs Russell was imprisoned last week after lawyers for her brother and sister lodged an application.

However, she was released early from Maghaberry prison on Monday and attended High Court proceedings where an adjournment was agreed to give the family more time to come to an agreement.

A judge at the High Court ordered both parties to agree on contradictory lists of family treasures and warned that no other adjournments would be granted and that the case would start on Wednesday.

The siblings decided to hold last-ditch talks to solve the dispute following a stinging rebuke by Mr Justice Girvan, who described the feud as "out of control".

Much of the legal argument in the case centred on contradictory lists of heirlooms, from which each of the three siblings had picked a one-third share.

The court heard on Tuesday that both sides remained in the High Court building until 1930 BST on Monday after Mr Justice Girvan urged them to show "commonsense and decency" to sort out the dispute.

However, the case was adjourned on Tuesday after both parties had still failed to agree on the content of the two lists.

Mr Justice Girvan warned that after the adjournment until Wednesday: "If the matter is not resolved then, it will be started and I will not entertain an application for a further adjournment from anybody."

See also:

24 Sep 02 | N Ireland
11 Feb 02 | N Ireland
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