In a case that would tax the most exceptional mind, the family behind a museum dedicated to Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective, went to the High Court to resolve a far-from-elementary dispute.
Grace Aidiniantz set up the museum 25 years ago at 221B Baker Street, one of the most famous addresses in fiction, which earned her a 20 million ($45.8 million) fortune, the court heard.
But now, says one of her daughters, Aidiniantz has been left penniless after she was "robbed" of her shares in the museum - along with its considerable revenue in ticket sales - by her elder son. John Aidiniantz, 69, launched a legal challenge against his sisters and brother, seeking to vary the terms of a ruling on his ailing 88-year-old mother's care.
They opposed his application amid claims he could withdraw her medication and end her life.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The judge, Justice Peter Jackson, described the case as a "poisonous feud" in a "lamentable" series of actions. "Very few families descend to the level of mutual acrimony that exists in this family."
Grace Aidiniantz was in sole control of the museum finances until October 2012, when some of her children claim the shares were misappropriated by their brother. The family came to an out-of-court settlement in 2013 but Riley indicated part of the family now wants that financial agreement quashed.
Riley said her brother had "robbed" their mother, adding: "She has now not got a penny to her name when she was worth 20 million."
The judge ruled she should remain in a care home for her own protection but made no ruling on the allegations regarding finances nor the claim that John Aidiniantz posed a risk to their mother's life.Telegraph Group Ltd