Father, 75, loses multi-million court battle with his daughter

‘She’s NO gold-digger’: Father, 75, who who lost everything after falling for his grandchildren’s 33-year-old au pair insists they are in LOVE… in wake of multi-million pound court battle with his (disgusted) lawyer daughter

  • Paul David fell for Jobeth Daguia when she was looking after his grandchildren
  • His daughter Audra Wamsteker described their affair as ‘unthinkably repugnant’
  • Their relationship deteriorated so badly they faced each other in court
  • They fought over a multi-million pound property portfolio in the UK and U.S.
  • The judge sided with Wamsteker but described the situation as ‘desperately sad’ 

Paul David fell for Jobeth Daguia when she was looking after his grandchildren (pictured with their own children)

When 70-year-old Paul David first ‘grabbed and kissed’ the 28-year-old Filipina au pair employed to look after his two young grandchildren, he says he felt as though ‘all Christmases had come at once’.

As well he might. The pair ended up in bed together, that memorable Christmas Eve five years ago. ‘I was very happy,’ says Mr David, now 75. ‘Falling in love is not something you can explain to anyone. You ask yourself why, but there are no words.’

His daughter, however, millionaire City solicitor Audra Wamsteker, whose children the au pair was looking after, was able to come up with a few choice words of her own when she discovered the affair: ‘Unthinkably repugnant,’ was how she described it.

In fact, the relationship between father and daughter fractured so badly that, earlier this year, they faced each other in court, fighting over the ownership of a multi-million-pound portfolio of properties built up across London and the U.S. and 23 items of jewellery, including family heirlooms.

In a bitter volley of accusations, Mr David claimed he’d helped his daughter finance the property deals, and had only given her the jewellery for safe keeping, which she fiercely disputed.

Even the judge described it as ‘desperately sad’ to witness this once close family at each others’ throats.

Mr David faced his daughter (right)  in court, fighting over the ownership of a multi-million-pound portfolio of properties built up across London and the U.S. and 23 items of jewellery, including family heirlooms

It is. Audra, Paul’s daughter from his first marriage, says she’d once ‘worshipped’ her father, while he ‘loved her from the bottom of his heart’.

Now, apart from a very frosty encounter in court, they haven’t spoken in five years.

Their situation was not eased this week when the judge sided wholly with Audra in the case. In a truly damning judgment, handed down yesterday, Judge Simon Monty QC ruled against Mr David stating: ‘He struck me as a bitter man, now that his relationship with his daughter has collapsed, who was prepared to say anything, and be untruthful, in order to win this case.’

In short, Mr David won’t receive a penny. Suffice to say, he’s furious.

Before his relationship with Jobeth Mr David was married to Sundra who was the mother of his daughter who he faced in court

In a bitter volley of accusations, Mr David claimed he’d helped his daughter finance the property deals, and had only given her the jewellery for safe keeping, which she fiercely disputed

Meanwhile, the very pretty au pair, Jobeth Daguia, now 33, whom he married five years ago and is now mother to his two young daughters Lisa, four, and two-year-old Patricia, sobs beside him on the sofa. She has every right to be upset.

Today they have to rely on her income as a nanny to another family to keep theirs afloat. To make matters worse, Mr David has been ordered to pay legal costs of £120,000.

Meanwhile, the very pretty au pair, Jobeth Daguia, now 33, whom he married five years ago and is now mother to his two young daughters Lisa, four, and two-year-old Patricia

‘Why has this happened?’ Mrs David sobs. ‘I feel so sad. He always thinks of others and never buys anything for himself. He is very kind and generous.’

Indeed he is: a brief tour of their £460,000 home in Stratford, East London, bears testament to her elderly husband’s generosity. The two double bedrooms are more like walk-in wardrobes, with countless pretty frocks and enough shoes to give his wife’s fellow countrywoman Imelda Marcos a run for her money.

In fact, everything here, from the exquisitely dressed oversized double bed in the master bedroom to little Patricia’s painted wooden cot, is the best money can buy — except for a curious shabby, stained mattress propped against the wall.

‘That’s where I sleep,’ explains Mr David. Hang on a minute. You sleep on a mattress on the floor in the children’s room?

‘Only since the small one came,’ he says. ‘Jobeth needs a good night’s sleep because she has to get up in the morning. She’s got a five-year resident’s permit, so she has a job looking after two children in Earl’s Court. When it runs out next year, she can apply for permanent residency.’

But does this ‘infatuated’ (his word), toothless retired car broker ever wonder if he’s being taken for a ride? That maybe Jobeth thought she was marrying a wealthy old man, meaning she could put her nannying days behind her? That maybe, now she’s found herself in a different situation altogether, she’s only hanging around for the stamp in her passport?

Even the judge described it as ‘desperately sad’ to witness this once close family at each others’ throats

Mr and Mrs David are having none of it. ‘It never occurred to me she was attracted to my money,’ he says. ‘She’s not a gold-digger. Why did Macron (French President Emmanuel Macron) marry his wife? She’s 35 years older than him. I’m not mimicking him. I’m just saying if it happens, it happens.’

President Macron’s wife, Brigitte, is, in fact, only 25 years his senior. And, as Mr David concedes, he is no superfit leader of France. Instead, a Pakistani by birth, he lived in Singapore before moving to the UK in 1990 and now suffers with a heart condition and severe arthritis.

So much so that his wife has to . . . well, best let Mr David explain. Before Jobeth began working as an au pair for his daughter in 2009, he was inordinately close to his daughter, particularly since first wife Sundra’s death from a stroke in 2008.

Unable to return to his marital home in Stratford because of his grief for the woman he had loved for 43 years, he began living in the hugely successful Wamstekers’ Surrey home.

Indeed, Mrs Wamsteker cared so deeply for her father that she allowed him access to her bank account. Meanwhile, his grandchildren upon whom he doted — a boy now aged 13 and a nine-year-old girl — helped to fill the hole for the wife he so desperately missed.

And it was here he met Jobeth. Their eyes met over his shirt buttons. ‘With my arthritis I can’t always do them up, and she used to help me,’ he explains. ‘That’s when I had the feeling she was quite close to me. Even now, in the mornings, I can’t wake up without her help because of the arthritis in my back. She uses a hairdryer to warm it up so I can start moving again. I thought my daughter would care for me, but she isn’t.

‘My wife has been taking care of me for the past five years. I want to provide for her from my life’s work.’

Which is all very well, except for the fact the judge has ruled that the property empire is actually his daughter’s life work.

Mr David had insisted — and continues to insist — he was unable to secure mortgages for the properties himself owing to his age, so his daughter agreed to help him out. He swears ‘as God is my witness’ that he helped to finance the properties. Their agreement, he says, was built upon filial love and trust.

He added: ‘When I saw her in court, I was just thinking to myself, ‘why are we going through all this rubbish?

‘After all I’ve done for her, bringing her up, helping her with her education. She looks like me and I look like her. How can a daughter do this to her father?

‘I’m going to appeal the decision. I’m also writing to the solicitor’s regulatory board to investigate her.’

You’d threaten your own daughter’s career? He sucks his toothless gums and sticks his chin defiantly in the air.

In truth, much of what Mr David says must be taken with a huge pinch of salt. After all, the judge dismissed his claims based on evidence from bank accounts. Instead, he supported Mrs Wamsteker’s claims that she had financed the property portfolio, ruling that her father, to whom she had once been giving 70 per cent of her salary, had no ‘beneficial interest’.

He also accepted Mrs Wamsteker’s insistence that her mother’s jewellery was gifted to her by her father in 2009, not given to her for safe keeping as Mr David claimed.

What is undisputed is the fact that the family has been shattered. Apart from facing each other in court, Mr David hasn’t seen his daughter or two grandchildren for five years, while his 53-year-old son Alvin ‘still has reservations about my marriage’ and didn’t attend their October 2013 wedding. Mrs Wamsteker has never met her two little half-siblings.

It’s being separated from his grandchildren that seems to hurt Mr David the most: ‘Grandchildren are very precious to grandparents in my culture,’ he says.

‘We spoil them. I bought my grandson the complete set of Thomas the Tank Engine trains. He loves trains. I used to take him to Stratford station to train spot. I miss him and I’m sure he misses me, too. Every day he went to sleep on my lap.’

Those first years after his first wife died were horrible, he says. ‘When I fell in love with Jobeth, I felt I was blessed that God had given me another girl who was the same nature as Audra’s mother, Sundra. In many ways it was like she was coming through her. When I’d cut the grass in Surrey, she would come out with a drink for me. That’s the sort of thing my first wife would do.’

Their closeness, he maintains, developed in 2012 when his granddaughter began school.

‘I couldn’t park the car outside the nursery so I needed someone to come with me. That’s when we started spending every day together. We’d go shopping after the school run and come back and cook together.

‘I taught her how to cook Indian food. My feelings for her started changing. Maybe you’d call it an infatuation initially. I was kind to her. I advised her to take up driving and gave her driving lessons. She comes from a very poor country. I used to tell her: “You don’t want to be a maid all your life. Think of a different direction. You’ve only got one chance. Don’t waste it.’

On a visit to Mr David’s home on Christmas Eve, they shared their first kiss, and ended up in bed. ‘I cooked breakfast the next morning,’ he says. ‘What had happened started playing over and over in my head. I wasn’t sure if I’d done the right thing. Also, I was frightened she might reject me. She didn’t.’

Instead, his young lover gratefully accepted a pair of gold earrings on Christmas morning and kept their relationship a secret when they both returned to his daughter’s house. ‘We didn’t rush it after that night,’ he says. ‘There was no creeping into each other’s bedrooms. Nothing like that. Yes, we’d kiss when the children weren’t there, but nothing more. After about a month or so we came back here again.’

Despite their secrecy, his daughter’s husband Jayco sensed something was going on and Audra confronted her father in February 2013. He says: ‘I know her so well I could see from her eyes she already knew there was something going on. She just wanted confirmation. I wasn’t her husband. I wasn’t her partner. There was no need to lie to her.’

In her evidence, however, Mrs Wamsteker insists her father denied the relationship to her and continued to conduct a secret affair for several more months.

Jobeth, meanwhile, according to Mr David, was desperate to convince everyone that she wasn’t a gold-digger.

‘I showed her an article from the internet about how Filipina girls break up families, marry the man and once they’re married, grab all his assets. She said: “I am not that kind of girl. If you trust me, marry me.’’

Whatever the truth, by April of that year the close relationship between father and daughter was becoming increasingly fraught —while Mr David and Jobeth were talking about marriage.

Family relations deteriorated so badly that, during one of many heated rows in August, the police were called to the house, and the couple went to Stratford.

Mr David claims he packed a bag and asked his daughter, ‘where’s Mummy’s jewellery?’

‘Audra said it was all mixed up with hers and that she’d give it back tomorrow.’

The next day, though, all the locks were changed, he says.

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At the hearing, however, Audra said she’d promised to return her father’s belongings, which she duly did, but said that the jewellery had been a gift from her father — a version of events upheld by the judge.

The legal wrangling began when Mr David discovered his daughter had obtained a restraining order. He also made arrangements to marry Jobeth. The wedding took place on October 23, 2013, at Newham register office, less than a year after that fateful Christmas Eve kiss.

‘When she moved in here I spoke to my neighbour George about it. He’s 80-plus. I said, “George, I’m so happy with Jobeth, what do you advise me to do?” He said: “Go ahead. If you’re happy, and Jobeth’s happy, you’ve got my blessings.’’ ’

Jobeth smiles sweetly as Mr David talks about this. Wasn’t she concerned about the 42-year age gap? After all, her husband is 11 years older than her own father.

Mr David answers for her. ‘He gave me his blessing. Age isn’t the issue. The only time it has come up was the other day when I was in a restaurant with my family. A table next to us was making a lot of noise so came to apologise for disturbing my granddaughters.

‘I said: “They’re not my granddaughters, they’re my daughters.”’

I repeat the question to his wife. ‘Age is one thing, but human life is another,’ she says. ‘It doesn’t mean I can’t die before you.’ She nods at Mr David.

What happens if he does die? Has he provided for his wife and daughters in his will? ‘She has this house and I own a property in Malaysia,’ says Mr David.

‘When I win my appeal I will give her what is mine, too. I wouldn’t have before any of this happened, but now… a daughter can only do so much to her father.

‘My daughter hasn’t taken care of me for five years so I’m going to take it back and give it to someone who is taking care of me.’

With which his young wife treats him to such a look of delight, you can’t help but wonder if the mattress will be staying propped up against the wall tonight.


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