Farmer vandalised Range Rover in Mansfield Woodhouse horse dispute

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

An irate farmer caused more than £3,000 of damage to a Range Rover following a quarrel over a horse at stables near Mansfield Woodhouse, a court heard.

Martin Smith had bought the horse for £11,000, but returned it because it was lame, and went to the farm, off Northfield Lane, to collect a refund, on October 26.

But a dispute occurred between Smith and the vehicle’s owner, and in a fit of temper he scratched her vehicle, said prosecutor Simon Rowe, adding that it would cost £3,082 to respray the panels.

Smith, who was unrepresented, said the woman’s father offered him a full refund if the horse was still lame after two days, and said the man had shaken hands on it.

But when he asked about the money, he was told the man had changed his mind, he said.

After pursuing the matter through solicitors he returned to the stables and demanded the horse.

The court heard a police officer was called.

“I admit I scratched it,” he said. “I have just lost £5,000. He gave me back £6,000. I know I lost my temper and I did it.”

“I have known them for 30 years,” he added. “I don’t want anything to do with them.”

Smith, 52, of High Lane, Wigley, Chesterfield, admitted criminal damage when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on friday.

No fine for the damage was applied, but he was ordered to pay full compensation to the Range Rover’s owner, and £85 costs.

An application for a restraining order, banning Smith from contacting the woman, was decliined.