Mother and Daughter Dispute Large Loan Amount in Commercial Court

The matter of Reverend Dr. Gwenyth Lightbourne versus her daughter and son-in-law Ruby Lightbourne-Lamb and Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Lamb began in the commercial division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday April 6 and Thursday April 7, before Puisne Judge Shade Subair Williams.

Reverend Dr. Lightbourne, 94, who owns the Brightside guest apartments property in Flatts, was the first to take the stand in court to be cross-examined by her daughter and son-in-law’s lawyer Christopher Swan.

Dr. Lightbourne admitted that she loaned $84,500 to Ms. Lightbourne-Lamb and Mr. Lamb several years ago, to assist with purchasing their home in Cashew City, St. David’s.

In Dr. Lightbourne’s amended statement of claim, however, the words “ at the request of the defendant” had been crossed out. She admitted to Mr. Swan that she crossed out those words
in her amended statement, but does not remember doing so or why she did it.

Initially, the loan in question had no specific date of repayment to Dr. Lightbourne, until a handwritten letter addressed to her daughter requested that the loan be paid back with five
percent interest in monthly, as opposed to yearly, installments.

When Mr. Swan asked why and how Dr. Lightbourne reached the above conclusion, Dr. Lightbourne told the Court that she became fed up with the way things were going and that the
money she loaned out belonged to her and her late husband Willard “Pommy” Lightbourne, to use during their golden years; it did not belong to Mr. Lamb and Ms. Lightbourne-Lamb to keep
for themselves. She also made it clear that, in her and her husband’s household, any borrowed funds must be paid back and they never gave large sums of money to their children as gifts.

Mr. Swan highlighted that, while Mr. Lightbourne was alive, Dr. Lightbourn did not make any claims to have the loans in question paid back and only ordered that loans begin to be paid
back after he passed away in 2011.

After almost two and a half days of testimony, Dr. Lightbourne’s case was closed and Ms. Lightbourne-Lamb and her husband, the case’s respondents, were cross-examined by Dr.
Lightbourne’s lawyer, Kevin Taylor, representing Walkers’ law firm, on Wednesday June 22. Ms. Lightbourne-Lamb told the Court that the money in question was a gift from her late father
and thus, did not need to be paid back.


After he “ blessed [her and her family] with the funds,” it was her mother, Dr. Lightbourne, who considered it a loan. She also told the Court that Dr.
Lightbourne would bring up the money all of the time, even if she just stopped by to visit. She believes that her mother values this money over their own relationship.


Mr. Taylor then referenced a series of handwritten letters and emails from Dr. Lighbourne to Ms. Lightbourne-Lamb, regarding the alleged funds, up to April 24, 2012. Ms. Lightbourne-Lamb told
the Court that she did respond to the letters and emails from her mother verbally, but not in writing.

The case continues in Commercial Court.


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TNN Reporter Stefano Ausenda