Ex-Olympian Lizzie Purbrick sentenced for pig's blood revenge

Lizzie Image copyright PA
Image caption Lizzie Purbrick entered the south London home of Conservative peer David Prior as a response to seeing him "in the arms of another woman"

A former Olympic show jumper used pig's blood to daub lewd messages inside a Tory peer's house after he cheated on her, a court has heard.

Lizzie Purbrick, 63, entered Conservative peer David Prior's home after seeing him "in the arms of another woman".

She used a garden sprayer and litres of pig's blood to cover walls with phrases such as "whore" and "lady slut".

She admitted one charge of criminal damage.

Camberwell Magistrates' Court heard Purbrick, of West Acre, King's Lynn, Norfolk, also drew a penis on the floor and left a cheque for £1,000 at Lord Prior's home in Kennington, south London.

'Jilly Cooper-esque'

Simon Nicholls, defending, told the court the pair, both estranged from their spouses, had been in a relationship for several years, adding that his client felt her affair with Lord Prior "had longevity"

But, he said: "To put this delicately, this comes to an end when she discovers him in the arms of another woman who is married to another member of the House of Lords.

"The whole incident she describes as cathartic and she's now moved on.

"This was a one-off offence caused by the breakdown of a relationship."

Mr Nicholls told the court: "This whole case has the feel of something lifted straight out of the pages of a Jilly Cooper novel."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Purbrick used a garden sprayer and litres of pig's blood to cover walls with phrases such as "whore" on 9 May

The court heard Purbrick, who handed herself into police straight afterwards, played loud music as she carried out the act - selecting pig blood because the victim "liked pigs".

A neighbour raised the alarm when blood was seen seeping underneath the door.

Mr Nicholls said: "At 63, she accepts in a way that (the incident) is completely out of character."

District judge Susan Green described the "series of highly abusive slogans" as "quite appalling".

She also sentenced Purbrick to 120 hours' community service and imposed a restraining order.

Earlier, Mr Nicholls apologised on behalf of his client after she arrived at court wearing a white t-shirt and pink shorts.

Her counsel said she was let down by transport links from nearby Oval station and was in such a rush she did not have time to change into more suitable attire.

'Didn't listen'

Speaking after she left the court, and having changed into a grey and yellow dress, Purbrick said she was "relieved not to go to prison".

"She was a very nice judge. A sweetheart," she said.

Purbrick said she was due to catch a flight to South Africa, where members of her family live and where she plans to spend much of her time.

Asked about what that meant for her impending community service, she joked: "I think I've got two years to do 20 hours - I didn't listen to be honest."

Lord Prior, son of former Conservative cabinet minister Jim Prior, was MP for North Norfolk from 1997 to 2001.

He was chairman of the Care Quality Commission from 2013 until 2015.

Purbrick competed for Great Britain in the 1980 Olympic Games.

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