A pensioner denied a share of his elderly brother's £2 million fortune yesterday told a court he knew him better than anyone, despite only seeing him three times in the last 20 years of his life.
Eric McClintock insisted his wealthy brother, Dr Joseph McClintock, would have wanted him and his other surviving brothers and sisters to inherit the money he had accumulated from share dealing and did not know what he was doing when he made a will two years before he died.
Dr McClintock, who had Parkinson's Disease and died aged 84 of pneumonia in 2001, left all his money to his nephew's wife, retired doctor Vivien Calderwood, of Handsworth Wood Road, Birmingham.
He made the will in January 1999 while resident at the St Ives nursing home, in Chingford, Essex, where he had practised medicine for many years.
Mr McClintock, aged 79, formerly of Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, but living in East Dene, Eastbourne, said he always believed his brother wanted to die intestate so everything would be split equally between his siblings.
He told the High Court in London that he was the closest of anyone to his brother. During their childhood years, he would see his brother virtually every day.
Barrister Emily Campbell, for Mrs Calderwood, asked him: "You saw him for three fairly brief occasions between 1978 and his death. How can you be so sure that you knew him better than anyone else? People change, they grow apart."
But Mr McClintock, who ran a business in South Africa, said he had always been close to his brother and other members of his family.
Earlier the court heard Mr McClintock - who claims his brother was in no fit mental state to make the will - was shocked at his condition when he visited him at his house in Chingford in 1997, before he had moved into St Ives.
Describing his brother as "dishevelled" and "shuffling", Mr McClintock said he was already suffering from Parkinson's and did not recognise him for five or ten minutes.
"That was because it was the first time you had seen him in 20 years," said Miss Campbell, who added: "It is not surprising he had changed in his appearance."
Mr McClintock, whose brother never married or had children, replied: "He would have known straight away if he had been of normal mind."
The case continues.