Gloucestershire

Gloucester couple 'cut and pasted signature on to will'

Julie and Brian Fairs Image copyright Gloucestershire News Service
Image caption Julie and Brian Fairs deny forgery and fraud

A will that was allegedly forged by a woman's daughter had a signature "cut and pasted" from another document, a court has heard.

Julie Fairs, 57, and her husband Brian, 76, are accused of photocopying Gillian Williams' signature onto a fake document after her death.

Gloucester Crown Court heard from a wills and probate expert who said the document was "unusual".

The pair, from Abbotswood Road, Gloucester, deny forgery and fraud.

Kirstie Hopton, of Dee and Griffin Solicitors, told the jury Mr and Mrs Fairs presented her with "three loose pages of paper together in a wallet".

She said wills "tend to be bound together so you know there are no pages missing", adding Mr Fairs had told her he had drafted the will himself, which was "not very common any more".

"The signature was not an ink signature, it looked like it had been cut and pasted," Ms Hopton said.

'Out of the ordinary'

She told the court Mr Fairs said he had "taken the signature off a previous will".

Ms Hopton added some pages of the "out of the ordinary" document had staple holes, while others did not, and dates and page numbers did not match.

Steven Felts, of Christopher Davidson Solicitors, where Mrs Williams' original will was held, told the court the will "seemed to be an attempted forgery" and the executors had asked him to contact police.

Previously the court heard Mrs Williams, who died in 2016, did not like Mr Fairs and had not wanted to leave money to him or her daughter.

The pair deny forgery by creating a document purporting to be the last will and testament of Mrs Williams, and deny fraud through falsely representing the document was authentic, thereby intending to make a gain for themselves.

The trial continues.

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