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Tini Owens, 65, Appeals Judges’ Refusal To Grant Divorce From Husband Of 40 Years Hugh Owens

'It's extraordinarily unusual for a court to dismiss a petition for divorce.'

15/02/2017 15:48

A 65-year-old woman is appealing after a judge refused to grant her a divorce from her husband of nearly 40 years.

Family court Judge Robin Tolson, who hears cases in Oxford, refused to grant Tini Owens a divorce petition in a ruling made last year.  

Now Mrs Owens wants Court of Appeal judges to overturn that decision and allow her to divorce husband Hugh Owens, 78.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Tini Owens told a court her marriage had broken down irretrievably 

Three appeal judges are analysing the case at a hearing in London.

A barrister representing Mrs Owens told the appeal court on Valentine’s Day the “vast majority” of divorces were undefended in 21st Century England.

Philip Marshall QC added: “It is extraordinarily unusual in modern times for a court to dismiss a petition for divorce.”

Appeal judges were told the couple had married in 1978 and had become millionaires via a mushroom-growing business near Worcester.

Mr Marshall said Mrs Owens’ case was that her husband had behaved unreasonably and that the marriage had irretrievably broken down, leaving her feeling “unloved, isolated and alone.”  

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Hugh Owens has argued the couple still has 'a few years' to enjoy 

Mr Owens disagreed and denied allegations made against him.

He also claimed he had “moved on” and “forgiven” his wife for having an affair in 2012.

He was against divorce and said they still had a “few years” to enjoy, Mr Marshall told appeal judges.

Judge Tolson had ruled against Mrs Owens, concluding that her allegations were “of the kind to be expected in marriage” and refused to grant her petition.

Mr Marshall said Judge Tolson had failed to make “proper findings of fact” and argued that his ruling should be overturned.

He indicated that Mr and Mrs Owens were jointly involved in business ventures and owned property in Britain and Holland.

The hearing continues.

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