A LEGAL battle over a semi-detached house in Farnworth between an estranged couple has ended up at the High Court.

Natalie O'Neill has been told she is entitled to a half-share in 53 Worsley Road following a wrangle with ex-partner Shaun Holland.

Her father John O'Neill had transferred the house, at nil consideration, to Mr Holland in 2008, the court heard.

Lawyers for Miss O'Neill say this was so the house could be mortgaged and funds provided for the property business she then had with Mr Holland.

She insisted Mr Holland would then hold the house in trust for the pair in equal shares.

But Mr Holland has maintained the house belonged to him from its first acquisition some years previously, as he had provided the purchase money.

The court heard the case, following the couple's split in 2012, was further complicated by John O'Neill's death in 2009.

An initial ruling was made in Miss O'Neill's favour in 2017 but later appealed in Mr Holland's before Judge Philip Pelling QC.

After considering submissions Lord Justice David Richards, sitting with Lord Justice Henderson and Lord Justice Nugee, has reinstated Miss O'Neill's half-share in the £140,000 house.

Lord Justice Richards said: "The only reasonable inference to draw from the available evidence, and the primary findings of fact made by the District Judge, is John O'Neill would never have agreed to transfer the property into Mr Holland's sole name without a clear understanding, shared by all three of them, that his daughter was to have a beneficial interest in the property.

"After all, he had initially bought the property in 1999 in order to provide a family home for his daughter and her family.

"The purpose of the 2008 transfer must have been to promote that objective, and not to jeopardise it by transferring sole beneficial as well as legal ownership to Mr Holland."