CLIVE HOLGATE'S wife duped her lover out of more than a million dollars by convincing him he was the father of her child. Nick Demuth, 70, had no idea his 40-year-old girlfriend had married senior estate surveyor Holgate until an acquaintance told him about it - four years after the wedding. The revelations came as defence lawyer Alexander King read out Mr Demuth's witness statement. The District Court was also told the Wan Chai hostess at the heart of the scandal was involved in shady land deals. 'Land registered for agricultural use was sold for residential use,' Mr Demuth, former general manager of Commercial Radio, said in his statement. 'I believe she had some contact in the Lands Department who helped her.' In January 1992, she vanished mysteriously, never to be seen again. Holgate, 53, a leading surveyor with the Buildings and Lands Department, has denied maintaining a standard of living above that commensurate with his earnings. From January 1989 to July 6, 1993, Holgate's money supply exceeded his identified sources of income by $1,661,782, prosecutor Bernard Ryan said. The former civil servant claimed his wife had poured cash into his credit and bank accounts, but said he had no idea where it came from. During the course of their seven-year relationship, Pauline Holgate's elderly lover said he had given her about $1.5 million. Mr Demuth met Pauline Holgate, nee Sham Po-ling, in 1977, when she was working at the Crazy Horse Pub in Wan Chai and the pair soon became intimate. Michael was born five years later, and Mr Demuth saw no reason to doubt that the boy was his. The relationship began to deteriorate in 1984, with Pauline Holgate providing him less and less access to the child, the court heard. In 1988, Mr Demuth learned his girlfriend had a husband, but when he confronted her she denied being married and maintained the child was his. A week before she disappeared, Pauline Holgate and Mr Demuth had a row. The couple had purchased a flat together, and the former hostess told Mr Demuth she wanted to move there with her mother. Enraged that he had rented the flat to a friend, Pauline Holgate had broken into it in the night, startling the tenant into calling the police. On the night of January 13, 1992, the couple met at a restaurant, and Mr Demuth agreed to give her full ownership of the flat for $300,000. 'I found one thing strange,' Mr Demuth said. 'Pauline became tearful on the evening we arranged the flat transfer. She was a person of strong character and I had never seen her tearful in all the years that I knew her.' A week later, she disappeared. Mr Demuth said in his statement that she loved gambling and was sometimes hounded by loan sharks. He often paid his lover's debts when her more dangerous creditors came calling. The trial continues before Judge Surman.