Millionaire ‘Eurocrat’ at loggerheads with wife over divorce Court location

A Millionaire ‘Eurocrat’ who claims that he and his wife have never considered the UK their “permanent home” is fighting a Judge’s decision that divorce proceedings should take place in England.

Mr John Pyres, 73, who was born in India, met his British-born wife Ms Una Kelly, 44, while working at the European Commission (EC) in Brussels in the late 1990s.

The couple cohabited together in England between 2001 and 2002, where they shared a £2.5 million home together in Fulham.

They were married in Tuscany in 2005 and shared a farmhouse in Italy together for a while before moving to Bosnia.

Mr Pyres, who claims that he was never happy living in England, as he suffered racial prejudice, is adamant that divorce proceedings should take place in Bosnia, where the couple most recently shared a home.

Due to this, he has approached the Court of Appeal in an attempt to overturn a decision made by Mr Justice Cobb that proceedings should take place in the UK.

In recent days, Mr Pyres has told the Court of Appeal that Mr Justice Cobb had previously “noted the absence in [Ms Kelly’s] evidence of either emotional warmth or attachment to England as a country.”

He insisted that Ms Kelly had never considered England her “permanent home” having spent most of her life living elsewhere in Europe – and added that, despite having been born in Staffordshire, Ms Kelly had repeatedly told friends and acquaintances that she was Irish in origin.

In opposition, Ms Kelly has said that she has a GP in the UK, pays UK taxes and has a “passion for England” – having spent time studying at a university in Manchester and writing a thesis on English country houses.

She told the Court of Appeal that she had “an anchor laid in London” and intended to retire there at the end of her career.

Court of Appeal Judges Lady Justice King, Mr Justice McDonald and Mr Justice Newey, have reserved their decision on the matter until a later date.

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