Brother in murder cover-up prepares for inheritance fight: Mark Newall attacks moves to deprive him of parents' fortune

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The Independent Online
MARK NEWALL, jailed on Monday for helping to bury the bodies of his parents and for covering up their murder, made it clear yesterday that he will fight to keep the hundreds of thousands of pounds he inherited.

Nicholas and Elizabeth Newall were bludgeoned to death on Jersey by Roderick Newall, then 22, in October 1987. On Monday Roderick was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Mark to six years.

Their murdered father's twin brother Stephen Newall, and his dead mother's sister, Nancy Clark, have already had the brothers' assets on the island frozen, and on 21 November will begin a civil action in Jersey's Royal Court to have the inheritance overturned.

Mark has branded his aunt and uncle 'greedy and distasteful' for trying to deprive them of their parents' wealth. The parents left pounds 500,000, including a home in Jersey, a villa in Spain and a yacht. By the time the sons had their parents declared officially dead so they could inherit, in January 1991, their uncle, Kenneth Newall, had also died and the pounds 400,000 his will left the couple passed to the sons.

David Le Quesne, Mark and Roderick's lawyer, said there was no statute in Jersey, as in England, which prevents a person benefitting from the proceeds of a crime. He understood the claim against Roderick would be under common law, on the same grounds.

'But I am puzzled about the grounds of a claim against Mark,' he said. 'Mark had no part in the murder. His involvement began after the parents were dead. I do not see how you can be prevented from profiting from somebody else's crime.'

Richard Michel, lawyer for the relatives, was not available for comment yesterday. The hearing in November will be before a judge in the same Royal Court that sentenced the brothers this week.

While awaiting sentence, Roderick issued a statement from prison saying he wanted nothing more to do with his inheritance.

Mark, a Paris-based financier, who was earning a six-figure salary before his arrest last March, is thought by police to have invested and juggled the inheritance around several countries, increasing it to as much as pounds 3m, but making it almost impossible to track.

This means that even if the lawsuit by the relatives is successful, the court may not be able to allocate much more than the value of the bungalow on Jersey. A large part of Mark and Roderick's fortune would have been eroded by Lloyds losses had Nicholas Newall not taken out an estate protection plan in 1987, indemnifying his family against future underwriting losses in the event of his death. Holman Wade, the brokers who gave Mr Newall the policy, said yesterday the only exclusion clause to prevent a pay-out would have been in the event of suicide, and despite the murder the underwriters had accepted the claim.