Three sisters locked in courtroom battle over £50,000 bingo pay out - Wednesday 30th of April 2008

It began as a pleasant trip out for a game of bingo but ended in an acrimonious feud played out in the courts.

Yesterday three sisters were locked in a bitter courtroom battle over who has the right to a £50,000 bingo win.

Two of them – Linda Kenny and Doreen Thomas – are suing the third sister, Edna Sexton for their share of the winnings.

The sisters are at loggerheads after Mrs Sexton won the a national game at Buckingham Bingo Palace in Liverpool.

They say their elder sister went back on a verbal agreement to split the winnings equally between them.

But Edna Sexton, 59, claims the three sisters had agreed that any winnings over £1,000 should not be shared between them.

Yesterday the two younger sisters took their case to Chester County Court demanding £16,666 each from their older sibling.

Mrs Kenny, 53, said the big win happened last June when the family had gone on a outing to the bingo hall in Liverpool.

She told the court: "The win was on the national game, which is played at a certain time during the evening.

"I actually bought Ednas national game ticket for her because she was late arriving. To do so, I was let into the queue one place ahead of my sister Doreen – so it really should have been hers anyway."

When the win was announced all three sisters jumped for joy and began hatching plans for a luxury holiday.

Mrs Kenny claimed Mrs Sexton had asked one of the party how much she had won and when she was told it was £16,666, she told them: "Oh thats lovely, I will put £10,000 in the bank and then go on a shopping spree."

It was later that evening that Mrs Sexton changed her mind about sharing the win with her sisters, claimed Mrs Kenny.

She said: "She was saying – theres no reason that Id share with you but I will give you £10,000 as a gift because you are my sister."

Angry text messages were exchanged and a family rift developed and Mrs Kenny and her sister Doreen Thomas, 57, launched legal proceedings.

Mrs Kenny told the court that the sisters had played bingo together on around 50 occasions, at venues around the North West including Liverpool and Chester, and had won £1,000 on two previous occasions.

She said: "We always shared. We have never disagreed before, until this £50,000 win. It was always done equally, none of us lost out. We always thought it was a binding agreement between three sisters.

"You trust each other as a sister. Until this win we stuck together. I always hoped for a big win now this is the outcome.

"We didnt ever think it would come to this because we did not think anyone would renege on it. As three sisters we would share always. Nothing was written down, its a trust three sisters put in each other."

At one point during the last two years one of the husbands had questioned the system of sharing all the winnings.

But Mrs Kenny said that as it was a trust shared between three sisters nothing was ever done to change the agreement.

Neil Francis, bingo caller at the Buckingham Palace, said he went to the table to announce the win and said: "Is it just you who have won?" and she said: "No, its me and my sisters."

The case continues.

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