Bitter break-up leads to court
A bitter marriage break-up has led to a Auckland man facing criminal charges for perjury.
Graeme John Kendall is on trial in the High Court at Auckland charged with lying on affidavits he swore in the break-up of his marriage to Patricia Murfitt.
Kendall, an elderly businessman who uses a walker, married Murfitt, a deputy principal at an Auckland girls school, in 2006.
During their brief marriage he gave her one of his unused shell companies so she could use it to buy a rental property. She became the sole director and shareholder of the company Home Pride.
Their marriage broke up after eight months and the relationship turned acrimonious. Kendall trespassed Murfitt from all his properties, including one where she had some of her property stored.
In January 2007, Kendall used his company Feature Furniture to send a statutory demand to Murfitt's Home Pride, saying it owed him $64,000 for unpaid rent on a unit it had allegedly been leasing from Feature Furniture.
Murfitt said she went into "a state of serious shock which required medication" once she received the demand.
A statutory demand is the first step in a liquidation and the recipient must go to court to have it removed. Prosecutor Nick Flannagan told the court it cost thousands of dollars in legal fees to have the demand set aside.
Murfitt's lawyers took the matter to court and Kendall swore two affidavits that said the leases existed. The Crown contends these were lies and by making them in an affidavit he committed perjury.
The trial before Justice Kit Toogood and a jury is set down for a week.