Heather Mills is likely to leave the UK once her divorce from Sir Paul McCartney is finalised, according to her father.

The former model is currently appearing at London's high court on the third of five scheduled days of hearings regarding a financial settlement with her estranged husband.

And according to her father Mark Mills, she is likely move to either the US or France after a deal has been reached with the former Beatle.

"She won't stay in this country. She knows everybody hates her and she does not care," he said.

"I think she's very low at the moment and would leap at the chance to get away from it all and take her daughter Bea with her.

"I think she'll go abroad and then just slowly fade away into obscurity."

Mr Mills, 66, told reporters he fears his daughter will be "torn to shreds" during the hearing, held behind closed doors.

The 40-year-old charity campaigner is thought to be representing herself in court, having dismissed her legal team.

Legal experts have argued her decision could be hugely risky, given the quality of McCartney's legal team, which includes Fiona Shackleton, who represented Prince Charles during his divorce from Diana.

Sandra Smith of law firm SAS Daniels told the AFP news agency: "She must be mad to do it herself.

"She will be up against one of the finest legal teams in the world, led by Nicholas Mostyn QC."

"I just wonder what is behind it all. She is obviously asking for a lot more than Sir Paul is prepared to offer."

Ms Smith added: "She will have to show that Sir Paul has the means to provide her with a settlement allowing her an independent existence, taking into account the loss of her own career and the upbringing of their daughter."

13/02/2008 15:10:22