Dad sues eloped daughter for $1M
Mustering pilot runs off with cattle baron's daughter in 1986, parents suing daughter and soon to be ex son-in-law. The case involved $1m and whether it was a loan or gift.
AN AUSTRALIAN cattle baron is suing the man who allegedly took off with his plane and eloped with his 19-year-old daughter for more than $1 million in alleged unpaid loans.
And the Supreme Court case has exposed family secrets, financial gifts and a teenage runaway who allegedly "shocked'' and nearly split the wealthy Northern Territory pastoral family.
Iconic pastoralist Peter Sherwin, now aged in his 70s, and his wife Florence, alleged they loaned their daughter Maria and her now estranged husband Craig Commens $1.12 million in four separate deposits between 1999 and 2002, to purchase Queensland cattle stations and pay off spiralling farming debts.
Mr Commens told the court the money was a "gift'' to their family.
But the Sherwins -- who are suing both Mr Commens and their daughter -- argued it was "not probable'' they would have gifted the money, as they were "just so hurt'' when their then mustering pilot ran away with their 19-year-old daughter in 1986.