Hereford & Worcester

Police backup called to Cradley sheep squabble

sheep Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The spat was about where Dennis Johnson allowed his sheep to graze

Four fast-response vehicles and 10 police officers were called to a squabble about sheep between an 88-year-old farmer and his neighbour, a judge has heard.

Two officers attended the spat between Dennis Johnson and Richard Williams, 49, at Wells Farm in Cradley, Herefordshire, before summoning backup.

The pair had disagreed about where the flock should graze.

Details of the saga emerged in a civil court ruling over a boundary dispute.

Judge David Grant heard how Mr Williams, now 52, claimed that Mr Johnson, now 91, had wrongly released sheep onto his land, on the Malvern Hills, early one morning.

'Half my age, twice my size'

The pair began a quarrel, and Mr Williams' wife Swarni called the police. Both the men were arrested, although neither were charged.

Mr Johnson had denied harassing either Mr Williams or his wife and had told Judge Grant: "I am 90 years old, and Mr Williams is probably half my age and about twice my size."

Judge Grant, who analysed the dispute, said "none of the three persons present behaved in a violent or aggressive manner".

The judge agreed with Mr Johnson that he had not been harassing the Williamses, but said there had been instances where Mr Johnson had been a "nuisance", and fined him £500.

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