A high court has awarded a football coach a greater share of the proceeds from the sale of a £1million house following a bitter court battle with his unemployed former convict brother.
The two sons of Dr Mohanned Mahmud, 75, have been warring over a five-bedroom house in Surbiton, Surrey which their father gave to them eight years ago.
After buying the property in the 1980s, Dr Mahmud passed it to his sons in 2011, but after deciding to sell up, the pair fell out over how the proceeds should be divided.
Salih Mahmud, who Judge Peter Wulwik said is jobless and has spent two years behind bars, claimed he was due £240,000 more from the sale of the property than his youth football coach brother, Joesef Ibrahim Moustafa, 31.
Joesef counter-claimed that Salih had unfairly ‘pocketed the rental income’ from the house for almost seven years to the tune of more than £200,000.
Joesef Mahmud (left) and his former convict brother Salih Mahmud (right) have been warring over a five-bedroom house in Surbiton which their father gave to them eight years ago
After branding Salih ‘unreliable and untruthful’, Judge Wulwik ruled that he is due only a one-third share of the property.
The judge went on to say that invoices Salih claimed were for house restorations he had paid for after meeting a builder ‘in the pub’ were ‘entirely bogus documents produced to try and support his case’.
Judge Wulwik also ruled that Salih must pay out two thirds of the rent he has received, as well as the legal costs of the case.
The court heard that consultant radiologist Dr Mahmud originally had three sons and handed them the house in equal shares as a gift in 2011.
But the third brother, Yousif, died in 2014, Joesef’s barrister Reza Choudhury said.
The doctor subsequently spent hundreds of thousands of pounds doing up the property, he told the judge.
But James Harris, for Salih, claimed that it was in fact he who had spent £240,000 on the works to improve the house, which he also supervised.
Salih had taken the house from being ‘almost a demolition property’ to being worth around £1million, the barrister said.
Salih insisted that as well as keeping seven years’ worth of rental income and getting a third of the sale price of the house, he should get the six-figure sum he claimed to have spent on building works on top.
After buying the property in Surbiton (shown) in the 1980s, Dr Mahmud passed it to his sons in 2011, but after deciding to sell up, the pair fell out over how the proceeds should be divided
He told the judge that the £240,000 had come from his father initially, but that the money had been given to him as an another ‘gift’, which he had then poured into the house.
But Judge Wulwik found that Dr Mahmud, who lined up alongside Joesef in court, had been the only one who funded works on the house.
In his judgment, he said: ‘The father is clearly well off and has been generous to his sons and other members of the family. He regards the property as a family property.
‘It is agreed that the property should be sold. Joesef and Dr Mahmud seek equal division of the proceeds.
‘Salih seeks an enhanced share, by virtue of the time he says he spent supervising and assisting with works to the property at his expense.
‘Dr Mahmud denies he made a gift of the £240,000 to Salih or that anybody paid for the works other than himself.
‘The issue is whether Salih carried out the works at his expense and is to receive an enhanced share of the net proceeds.
‘I’m satisfied on the evidence of Dr Mahmud and Joesef that it was Dr Mahmud who instructed the builder to carry out the works which were undertaken.
‘I find Joesef and Dr Mahmud to be honest witnesses whose evidence I have no hesitation in accepting.
‘I found Salih to be a wholly unreliable and untruthful witness. I reject Salih’s evidence that he paid for any of the works with his own monies.
‘I entirely reject Salih’s evidence that he did any of the works himself or is otherwise entitled to be paid in connection with any of the works carried out on the property.’
The judge also said that during the course of the trial Salih, who had initially claimed to have been abroad working between 2008 and 2010, had eventually ‘accepted he had in fact been in prison for two years in Saudi Arabia before being deported in 2010’.
The judge went on to order that the house be sold and split three ways between the two surviving brothers and Yousif’s estate.
He also told Salih that he must pay his brother and his father, who is acting as representative of Yousif’s estate, a third each of the total rent income he has received from the house since 2012.
‘Salih has been receiving rent from the property from 1 July 2012 to date,’ he said. ‘There will be an order for an account of the rents received.
‘Joesef in my view as the successful party is also entitled to his costs from Salih.’