An unemployed law graduate who never did a “proper day’s work” but enjoyed a lavish lifestyle thanks to her businesswoman girlfriend is fighting for a share of their £1.3 million home.

Shree Ladwa, 43, did not have a permanent job in her 16-and-a-half years with Beverley Chapman, 45, but claims she was “effectively the housewife”.

The couple split in 2016 and are locked in a dispute over the home they shared in Chingford.

Ms Ladwa argues she cooked for Ms Chapman and kept the house tidy while she was at work, so is entitled to half of the property.

However, Ms Chapman, the director of a construction firm, argues it was her hard work that paid off the mortgage and funded their lifestyle.

She claims the house, bought in her name in 2007, was only changed to joint ownership the following year because she was “worn down” by incessant nagging from Ms Ladwa.

Elizabeth Darlington, for Ms Chapman, told Central London county court Ms Ladwa, who received a £25,000 a year from her mother, had not worked despite obtaining a law degree.

She accused her of using her partner as a “cash cow” and added: “The bottom line is you didn’t want to work.”

Ms Ladwa said she repeatedly applied for jobs and that the couple had agreed to have shared home ownership once the mortgage was paid off.

Her barrister, Anthony Geadah, said some mortgage money came from selling the couple’s former, jointly owned home, and from a joint bank account.

He added that Ms Ladwa was “effectively the housewife” and that Ms Chapman was trying to “rewrite history” by claiming to have been pressured into joint ownership. Judge Stephen Murch reserved his ruling until a later date

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