Woman farmer tells of chainsaw terror at hands of boyfriend

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 woman farmer has told how she feared she was going to be cut up and left for dead when her ex-partner held a chainsaw between her legs.

A woman farmer has told how she feared she was going to be cut up and left for dead when her ex-partner held a chainsaw between her legs.

Nigel Reeby allegedly told victim Rosalynd Davies he hated her and wanted to hurt her as he stood behind her and tried to start the petrol driven saw.

She said she was terrified as she saw him pull at the starting cord without success after he knocked her to the ground in a meadow behind the stable block of her farm, near Okehampton.

Reeby had been her partner for about three years but they had a series of arguments about money after he lost his job. She claimed he owed her about £700 after she paid a vet’s bill for his dog.


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Reeby, aged 48, of Catalina Close, Dunkeswell, denies attempting to cause grievous bodily, common assault and battery. He says the incident never took place.

The jury at Exeter Crown Court have been shown the large orange chain saw which failed to start because it was out of fuel or had not been primed.

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Ms Davies said the relationship was on the rocks by June 2013 when they had disagreements about the vet’s bill and whether he should sell a truck he owned to raise money.

She said they argued in the study at her farmhouse and she then went into a barn outside.

She said:”I was in the big barn and he went over to the shed and came out with the chainsaw.

“He was shouting and screaming and I thought he was going to use it to cut down the wooden barn.

“I told him not to do that. I told him not to be so silly. He grabbed me and pushed me to the ground.

“I got up and ran through the stable yard and down a slope.

“He came out and intercepted me on the slope and threw me to the ground again. I was trying to get up and was on all fours when he put the chain saw between my legs and tried to start it.

“It is a petrol driven saw and had to be primed with fuel. It has a pull cord to start it and an on-off emergency switch.

“As I fell onto my shoulder I had walloped the back of my head. He was behind me with the chain saw and put the blade between my legs.

“He was pulling the cord and trying to start it but it did not start.

“It ended with him leaving and going off on his motorcycle back to his father’s in Honiton. He just left the chainsaw there.

“When I saw him behind me, I could not believe what was happening. It was just unreal. It was so ridiculous.

“I was obviously scared he was going to start the saw and cut me.

“I thought that nobody would find me and I would bleed to death. I was so scared.

He said he hated me and was really going to hurt or to kill me if he ever saw me again. I was just shocked.”

Mr Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said Reeby told police that Ms Davies account was a fabrication and that nothing at all had happened involving the chainsaw.

The trial continues.

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