A family of travellers battling for the right to settle on an illegal camp were facing difficult questions last night over their ownership of a nearby five-bedroom home.Well, of course! What, you think the appellation ‘travellers’ meant they would be mobile, or something…?
The McCanns are being funded by legal aid in their fight to keep two plots of land and claim an order to move them would breach their human rights.Perhaps that’s the ‘travelling’ they do? To and from each house they own.
But it has emerged the name of Cathrine McCann – the family matriarch – is on the title deeds of the property, called Southview, a stone's throw from their 'official' residence.
And they ‘travel’ in style:
To qualify for legal aid, applicants must declare they have no more than £8,000 in capital assets, although the first £100,000 of a home's equity is exempt. According to Land Registry records, Mrs McCann, who is thought to be in her 40s, appears to have bought the £230,000 property for cash six months ago.£230, 000 in cash? I thought large cash transactions attracted unwelcome attention from the authorities?
Further investigations suggest she and her husband Gerry, 49, who drives a new £27,000 silver Mercedes C220 Sport, have owned or lived in a string of houses for the past 22 years. Homeowners near the Hovefields site in Wickford, Essex, yesterday demanded action from Basildon District Council.
No doubt the authorities are looking into this spare cash and its possible sources as I type. *hollow laughter*
Last night Mrs McCann admitted owning the house but said: 'I bought that property because I'm moving in with my new partner. My children are still on the plots.So, is she the owner of the house or not? She says she is, then she says her partner bought it in her name…which is it?
'My new partner bought it in my maiden name. I never contributed or paid towards the house but I can't deny I'll live in it. I've not been with Gerry for years but we're still good friends.
'I explained to legal aid I've got some income and outgoings but no savings. I do contribute about £21 a month. Maybe that's not enough but that's all I can afford.'
And there’s no ‘maybe’ about it – it’s not enough!
A spokesman for the Legal Services Commission said: 'We have had no representations that suggest Mrs McCann is ineligible.'Let’s hope that changes in the very near future….