Dunkeswell farm worker cleared of chainsaw terror attack

Exeter Crown Court. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exeter crown court

Exeter Crown Court. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exeter crown court - Credit: Archant

A farm worker has been cleared of trying to cut his ex-lover in half with a chainsaw.

A farm worker has been cleared of trying to cut his ex-lover in half with a chainsaw.

Nigel Reeby was found not guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court after he told them he had never even picked up the tool, let alone used it as a weapon.

Reeby will still face punishment because he has admitted attacking ex-partner Rosalynd Davies in a second incident at her farm near Okehampton.

He was cleared of the more serious allegation of attempting to cause her serious harm after he explained to the jury that the chainsaw was not even in one piece at the time.

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He testified that landowner Rosalynd Davies had invented the story so she could get him off her farm, where he had been living for three years.

He said the large, orange, petrol driven chainsaw was in bits and pieces because he had recently finished felling trees a neighbouring farm and had dismantled it for cleaning and sharpening.

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He said there were six chainsaws at Miss Davies’ farm near Okehampton at the time but none of them were working.

Reeby, aged 48, of Catalina Close, Dunkeswell, denied and was acquitted of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm, common assault and battery to Miss Davies in June 2013.

He admitted causing actual bodily in a later incident in July 2013 in which she suffered bruised legs, head and breasts.

He will be sentenced for this assault later this month after Recorder Mr Michael Parroy, QC, adjourned the case for a probation pre sentence report.

During a two day trial Miss Davies told how Reeby lost his temper on two occasions after long running squabbles over money, including one about a £700 vet’s bill for his dog which she paid.

She said she feared for her life when he followed her into a paddock behind her stables while carrying a chainsaw, which he held blade first between her legs as she tried to get up after being knocked over.

She said she saw Reeby pull at the start cord and the only reason it did not start was because it had run out of petrol.

She told the jury that during the second incident Reeby had headbutted her, thrown her to the ground, squirted her in the face with a homemade fly repellant mixture of water and vinegar and headbutted her.

She said he had bruised her chest and tried to attack it using a pair of pliers or a wrench.

Reeby told the jury the relationship had broken down a few months before and they had been sleeping in different bedrooms.

He believed he no longer needed him because he had completed a large amount of work on the farm. He did not want to go because he had his own animals, including his dog, on the farm and had nowhere else for them.

He said he was the victim of the incident in June and said it had not involved a chainsaw at any stage.

He said:”We had an argument in the paddock and she punched me in the eye and the neck. I did not bother going to the police because they would have done nothing about it. I thought it was just one of those things with her.

“I did not pick up a chain saw at any stage. It is simply not true. None of the chainsaws were serviceable at the time. There was never any incident with a chainsaw whatsoever. They were all in pieces and being cleaned or sharpened.”

He also denied head butting her or trying to use a wrench or pliers on her in the later incident and said any kicks she suffered were accidental and happened after they fell over and he was disentangling his legs.

The Recorder will decide which account of the second assault he believes when he passes sentence.

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