In the continuing saga of the estranged Earl and Countess of Cassillis (see yesterday’s instalment
), later in 1983 Lord Ross granted authority to the earl to recover a letter from the procurator fiscal at Ayr relating to a substance said to have been found in the countess’s house. The court was told that the house had been searched and a substance suspected of being a controlled drug was removed, but the procurator fiscal had written to the countess to inform her that no proceedings were to be taken against her. The earl claimed that the marriage had broken down because of his wife’s adultery. The countess counter-claimed that the earl had committed adultery with two women, both of whom she named. Both parties were receiving legal aid.
The countess was granted a divorce on the ground of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and was granted custody of the children and maintenance of £400 a month. The earl was granted access. It seemed
that both parents were now living in London.
Later that year, the pair were involved in a further court wrangle over a choice of school for their two daughters. The countess, conducting her own case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, objected to the earl’s decision to have the girls educated at a private school in Scotland (Oxenfoord Castle) rather than Bedales or St Swithins in the south of England. 'I think it is ridiculous for them to be sent to boarding school in Scotland when they have two able-bodied parents in London', she said.
The countess was accompanied to court by Steve Macnamara, her employer at the bar where she worked in Whitechapel, London. 'I do not use any title, and the customers do not know I have a title', she told journalists outside the court.