A WIDOWER feared losing his south Warwickshire home because of his wife’s will – after discovering that the property had not been put into their joint names.

So Peter Tuckwell illegally tried to avoid that by registering ownership of the house and raising a mortgage against it, a judge has heard.

Tuckwell had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to a charge of fraud by abuse of a position of trust as the executor of the will of his late wife Susan between May 2009 and June 2017.

But on the day of his trial, Tuckwell (68), of Campden Hill, Ilmington, changed his plea to guilty.

The charge outlined that he had abused his position of trust as an executor, in which he was expected to safeguard, or not act against, the interests of the beneficiaries of a trust under the will.

It is said he did so by falsely representing a ‘deed of appointment’ and by assuming and registering ownership of the house in Campden Hill and raising a mortgage against the property.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano observed that in a ‘basis of plea,’ Tuckwell said that prior to his wife’s death he believed the property was in their joint names.

He had lived there since they had married in 1991, and had sold his own former home to put money into the property.

But on his wife’s death, he found that in fact it was not jointly owned – and he feared losing his own assets.

And Tom Walking, prosecuting, confirmed: “This was a man under extraordinary pressure who acted in an extraordinary way.

“It has always been our case that this was a man who was afraid of losing his home.”

At the request of Nick Devine, defending, the case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Tuckwell, who was granted bail by Judge de Bertodano.