Iorworth Hoare: Rapist gets access to $9M jackpot after 15-year legal battle but victim's family wants it to go to charity
GLOUCESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND: A convicted rapist who won a jackpot while in prison has finally received full access to his winnings following a 15-year legal struggle, infuriating his victims. Iorworth Hoare, 70, who was incarcerated at Leyhill Open Prison in Gloucestershire for rape, purchased the winning Lotto Extra ticket in August 2004 while on weekend leave.
Hoare was not given full access to his riches due to the terms of his licensed release from prison. He is said to have received a monthly allowance of £8,666 ($10,840) after being released from jail in 2005. The 70-year-old was only permitted to access the remaining £7.2 million of his wealth with the approval of fund trustees, including a rep from the Home Office, his attorney, and his accountant. However, he may now access it with interest thanks to a 2008 lawsuit he filed to take possession.
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Who is Iorworth Hoare?
Iorworth Hoare was convicted of attempting to rape Shirley Woodman in Leeds' Roundhay Park in 1988. While on a weekend break from Gloucestershire's Leyhill Open Prison in August 2004, he purchased a ticket for the lottery and ended up winning the grand prize.
Hoare's money has been used to develop a property portfolio and an art collection, which includes a Picasso "Bull" sketch. He currently lives in a lovely detached house in the countryside with his long-term partner. In 2011, he was forced to leave his old house in Ponteland, near Newcastle, when the words "Leave or Die" were scrawled on his gate.
Who was Shirley Woodman?
The daughter of one of Hoare's victims has asked Hoare to donate his money to charity, just like her deceased mother did with the damages he was required to pay her. Shirley Woodman was 59 years old when Hoare made an attempt to rape her in Leeds' Roundhay Park in 1988. Twenty years later, Shirley was successful in getting the law changed so she could sue him for damages. Hoare ultimately had to pay £50,000 ($62.500) in damages and nearly £800,000 ($1M) in court fees. Woodman had four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren and was an active member of the Roundhay community in Leeds. She was the headteacher of Bradford's Netherlands Avenue School.
'He can do good with that money'
Shirley's daughter Shelley Wolfson, 67, told the Mirror after learning that Hoare now had access to his $9 million windfall, "She gave all the money away to charity and it’s what he should be doing with his money. He can do good with that money, like my mum did.” The "magnificent" former head teacher Shirley died last year at the age of 92, but she left behind a legacy for future sex assault victims. When Hoare won in 2004, he was serving life in jail for his attack on Shirley, and she was outraged, telling the BBC in 2012, "It seemed wrong that he had been in prison at our expense - that is, the taxpayers' expense. He should be paying back that money. The victims also got money from the state and he should be paying that back." Her court victories have enabled other victims of sexual assault, such as those abused by Jimmy Saville and survivors of Rotherham grooming gangs, to seek restitution.
Woodman was not 'going after his millions'
Wolfson, of Bradford, West Yorkshire, told the publication that people assumed her mother was "going after his millions," but she was not and was campaigning to reform the legislation. Woodman, who was previously known only as "Mrs A", forfeited her right to privacy after receiving an MBE in 2012. "It was a fantastic struggle. It was a long and traumatic one and it was very hard at times," she said at that time, as per reports. Woodman stated in 2012 that she was "very proud" to be awarded an MBE after being nominated by her daughter, Wolfson. A Home Office source also told the outlet that "nothing legally" could be done to prevent Hoare from gaining access to the winnings.