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Port family sues over stolen' land

Published:  23 July, 2008

The British Government is being sued for 14 million by a British family which made its name in the Port trade.

The dispute centres on an Oporto estate in the centre of the city, which belonged to the late Evelyn Teage. Miss Teage died in 1957, and left her home to the UK on condition that it served as the consul's permanent residence.

But, with the post scrapped in December 2004, Miss Teage's heirs claim that the conditions of the will have now been broken. Furthermore, the property, Quinta da Fonte da Moura, which has been valued at 5 million, has been empty since March this year.

The rest of the claim stems from when the Government sold two adjoining pieces of land for 2.5 million for housing in 1997, and land outside Oporto as well as three other houses, valued at an additional 6.5 million.

Henry Shotton, who runs Graham's Quinta dos Malvedos winery and is also Teage's great-nephew, told the Jornal Porto XXI newspaper: 'The conditions of the will were clear the building was bequeathed to the British State. During almost half a century, the consul has used the property, but since March, the house has been empty. The rules have been broken.'

A Foreign Office spokesman said that it was taking legal advice on the matter.