Cornwall

Sharon Hamilton to pay £32k over false pig sex claim

Tregolls Common Image copyright Google
Image caption The neighbours fell out over a fence put up on Tregolls Common in Cornwall

A woman who falsely claimed she saw her neighbour having sex with a pig has been ordered to pay £32,000.

Sharon Hamilton claimed Anton Barkhuysen enticed the animal with doughnuts and ran away in shame when he was spotted.

The neighbours were involved in an eight-year dispute over land in the hamlet of Tregolls, Cornwall.

The 72-year-old has been awarded High Court damages of £32,080 for slander, false imprisonment and harassment.

More on the pig sex claim, and other news

The legal costs are estimated to be around £200,000 but the judge has not yet decided who should pay them.

'Bullying'

The court heard the pair fell out because she had fenced off part of Tregolls Common, where she kept pigs.

The actress and mother-of-two argued the fence had been in place long before she had moved there.

On New Year's Day 2013, the 54-year-old claimed she had stumbled upon Mr Barkhuysen having sex with one of her pigs.

Following the allegations, he was arrested by police, questioned about his sex life, subjected to intimate sampling and kept on bail for several weeks.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Warby said the allegation was a lie and she had compounded her neighbour's distress by hinting at it to another neighbour.

The judge accepted that some of Mr Barkhuysen's behaviour during the row had been "bullying".

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