Inheritance disputes have torn many a family apart, and a long-running family feud recently turned ugly when two brothers hired a bulldozer to demolish the family home in Victoria, to ensure their sister “didn’t get a cent”.
According to 7News, the two irate brothers, Malcolm, 57, and Garry, 59, have been locked in a heated legal battle with their sister over their parents’ estate.
The inheritance dispute allegedly came to a head in 2019, when the brothers travelled across the country from Queensland to the regional Victorian town of Murtoa to do “renovations” on the property. They instead destroyed the house, which was due to go to auction the following day. In footage shared by 7News, the brothers can be seen on a hired excavator, ripping out the fireplace, pulling down the walls and dragging the toilet outside while laughing.
The Herald Sun cited documents of the court proceedings, which detailed the extent of the damage and the feud between the two brothers and their sister Kerry — who was the executor of their late parents’ estate.
The Victorian County Court heard that the three siblings have been locked in a legal standoff for several years over their late parents’ estate. In November 2018, Malcolm called the property’s real estate agent and said his sister “wasn’t going to get a cent” and that he’d “rather pull it down piece by piece” than for Kerry to get any money.
Following the destruction, the property – initially slated to sell for $99,000 – was later sold for $7,500.
The brothers were charged with criminal offences after boasting online about their “renovations”. The pair both pleaded guilty and are due to be sentenced on Friday.
The Herald Sun reported that Judge Michael Cahill labelled the brothers’ actions “an entirely irrational response”, with the pair so fixated on denying their sister a $30,000 benefit that they wound up in court and would lose $60,000. While the offences carry a maximum 10-year sentence, the prosecution and defence have reportedly agreed a fine is appropriate.