Madly in love was Matthew Wales.
Like many a man under the influence of hormones, he showered his beloved with gifts. It's the way of males of many species, attempting to lure a female into their lair, pulled along by biological imperatives that modern humans have skewed from procreation to recreation.
It's all about having sex is what it is.
But the female is often fickle. She has her own biological imperatives that again relate to procreation, although the female being the child producer, she looks at a man with a jaded eye and a sparkle of practicality.
At some point, Stella Conlon and Matthew Wales broke it off and he moved out of her flat.
Mr. Wales, being a solicitor, then turned to the law to alleviate the pain of his broken heart.
Sadly, civil law has little recourse for a love affair gone wrong.
He wanted his gifts back, since Ms. Conlon was no longer performing her end of the bargain in regard to the quid pro quo.
However, Ms. Conlon, a legal assistant, was no slouch when it came to wielding the sharp sword of justice.
She said that the lovely ring was given as a token of love. The Rolex watch was a Christmas gift. The oil painting was another gift. Just a bunch of prezzies from one lover to the other, in the way of humankind down through the centuries.
There's the problem, and it's the very point that tripped up Mr. Wales and saw his suit tossed out of court.
Men give gifts to women, and have always given gifts to women they wished to bed. When said woman decides that the man isn't all that, she gets to keep the gifts.
Mr. Wales could have saved himself a great deal of trouble, to say nothing of court costs, if he'd only sat down one afternoon and watched a few episodes of Judge Judy.
With that kind of exposure to the law, the dogs in the street could have told the poor man that he'd gambled on Ms. Conlon's fidelity and lost. He can't get back at her by demanding the return of things he gave her of his own free will.
It doesn't work that way.
One way or another, son, you're going to be paying for sex. It's rooted in our DNA, going back through evolutionary time when sex was all about preservation of the species and females were the ultimate arbiter of which genes were carried on and which were left to grumble over a pint in the local.