Thursday, 13 December 2018

Jo Richardson shared a post to your timeline. 3 mins · Jo Richardson 5 mins My statement concerning the case between:- Jackie Tilley v Lesley Cooper Cardiff Court E90CF040 On public record the case was heard on the 14th November by Judge John Phillips. The decision was given by Judge Phillips on the 21st November. Dispute in Civil Court concerning the contract/ownership of a shire horse called Rosie. Jackie Tilley claimed up to £25,000 in aggravated damages, plus her legal fees from Lady Lesley Cooper, plus the return of the loan horse called Rosie. On the 31st January this year I put a post on Facebook regarding an incident on our property concerning an individual known as Jackie Tilley. Previously on Sunday 28th January we received a phone message from an individual calling herself Ms Karen James, claiming to be Tilley’s legal representative, we were told to hand over the horse, then threatened of ending up in court ‘where everything would come out’ That message was played to two attending police officers, the transcript was given in our evidence to the court. From then on we were threatened and blackmailed by certain individuals that our reputation would be ruined, unless we handed over the horse to Jackie Tilley. Indeed over the past 11 months, along with Trallwm Farm, we have been subjected to a daily social media hate campaign. People who had no right to be involved fanned the flames of spurious allegations. One individual in particular, whom we trusted deeply both personally and professionally as a self-employed groom at Running Free Farm gave false statements to the Court in support of Jackie Tilley. That individuals statement and involvement on social media emboldened others in the belief that Jackie Tilley was being truthful. As a result, people who have never met us made assumptions based upon the lies put out on social media and continued to propagate those lies. Lies about us that were dismissed by the Police in Norfolk and Wales and Lies dismissed by the Judge. This statement concerns the facts of the case and is being made public as a warning to all those involved in rescue, who face similar situations daily. As we all know rescues and sanctuaries are constantly criticised for not acting in the best interest of the horse (or animal) for not having the principles of their conviction, for not giving the voice to the horse, for not putting the welfare of the horse first. In fact vast amounts of man hours are spent on dealing with the 'enquiries' generated by social media. Worse still, is that money donated to save horses, is having to be spent on legal services to counteract spurious legal challenges. We gave witness evidence to protect a horse, to give Rosie a voice, as did Trallwm Farm, there was no counter claim, no financial incentive, we were only ever concerned about protecting the welfare of Rosie. In March 2017 Jackie Frances Tilley signed a permanent loan contract with Trallwm Farm for the loan of a shire mare called Rosie. The contract was based upon the BHS and WHW loan contract templates and was very simple and straightforward in its layout, its terms and conditions. At the time of signing the contract Ms Tilley was residing in Wales. The loaner just had to adhere to the contract terms of welfare, also allowing Rosie to be checked by the owner. In late October 2017 at the request of Jackie Tilley, Rosie was brought to Running Free Farm, in Norfolk, in a poor state of health, and offered emergency sanctuary/recovery for Rosie for 6 months. Tilley was to care for her horse and pay a donation of £50 pcm to our sanctuary. However, on the 25th January 2018, a series of events led us to discover that Rosie was in fact on loan from Trallwm Farm. Concerns for the mare and the management of the mare’s welfare by Jackie Tilley led us to contact Lady Cooper from Trallwm Farm. Lady Cooper was able to contact Ms Tilley on the 25th January and during the exchange of communications she reminded Tilley she had been given a final warning regarding her concerns about the health and care of Rosie on the 10th June 2017, at which point Tilley broke all communication with Lady Cooper and disappeared with the horse. Lady Cooper was concerned that Tilley had yet again planned to move the horse from Running Free Farm to an unknown location on the 27th January and therefore Lady Cooper terminated the loan agreement/contract with immediate effect – asking us to ensure that Rosie came to no harm until such a time that she could have the horse safely returned to Trallwm Farm in Wales. South Wales & Norfolk Police also instructed us on the 30th January to hold the horse prior to transportation to Trallwm Farm advising us that Trallwm Farm were the legal owners. Despite acknowledging the termination of the loan contract with Lady Cooper on the 25th January, Tilley endeavoured to remove Rosie from our premises five days later on the 30th January without Lady Coopers permission or knowledge. Norfolk police were called on an emergency 999. Tilley was instructed to leave our property and warned not to return or face arrest. The Police also returned to Tilley all of her personal effects left in our stables on our behalf. Jackie Tilley instructed an equine lawyer - A few months later Tilley filed two legal Applications against Lady Cooper – both of which finally were heard on 14th November at Cardiff County Court, the outcome of which was in favour of Lady Cooper. As the case has been very long, and at times unnecessarily complicated it is best summed as follows: 1. Lady Cooper/Trallwm Farm is the legal owner of Rosie 2. The contract was a legally binding agreement which Ms Tilley chose to ignore, and in fact broke, on several issues, the most serious being that she had moved the horse some 3 times in a six-month period and had never informed Lady Cooper of her plans or where the horse was located. 3. That Lady Cooper had every legal right to cancel the agreement and reclaim her horse ‘without having to give any reason whatsoever’ although the horse was recovered on welfare grounds. 4. That contrary to Ms Tilley’s claims and her concerns for the welfare of Rosie whilst at Trallwm Farm (and if she were to be returned there) The Judge found that Ms Tilley had poor equine knowledge, had not insured the horse, nor called a vet when she knew that the horse had not recovered from a chronic skin condition; struggled to maintain weight, and consistently had issues with lifting her feet and had not employed a farrier. 5. The judge also saw irrefutable photographs, date stamped that proved Rosie was both well and happy at the sanctuary in Wales but declined within weeks of being on loan 6. The Judge was presented with photographic and witness statement evidence of Rosie’s recovery at Running Free Farm whilst under the care of Mr and Mrs Richardson. Furthermore, contrary to erroneous ‘expert’ advice that was shared all over Facebook and seems to be have originated from an award-winning equine lawyer, Lady Cooper was and is legally entitled to accept a donation/rehoming fee that she asks for when a horse is rehomed. This is common practice amongst many well-known organisations which may or may not have charitable status, and it is because of such donations/rehoming fees that they are able to operate. Equally important however, was the Judges’ comments with regards the social media hate campaign. In his summing up, he made it perfectly clear that he did not want to see any Applications or other such documents coming across his desk involving social media hate against Lady Cooper or ourselves, by either Ms Tilley or any of her known associates and friends. Evidence had been provided to the Court on this issue and is now a matter of court record. With regards Running Free Farm and our involvement in this case:- 1. The Judge found that Running Free Farm were correct in their concerns for the welfare of Rosie and acted appropriately by reporting those concerns to Trallwm Farm. 2. The judge accepted the witness statement of Running Free Farm that the owners Mr and Mrs Richardson had completed 95% of the care of Rosie and that under their care of specialist food, dry salt therapy treatments and gravel track management Rosie had increased in weight and in general health. The Judge ruled that Tilley was responsible for all her costs of circa £14,000. Judge Phillips ordered Tilley to pay costs to Mr Richardson of Running Free Farm of £626.30 on or before the 19th December. The Horse remains in the ownership of Lady Cooper. Social Media Individuals who have been involved in the Facebook hate campaigns against both Running Free Farm and Lady Cooper are now the subject of a Court Order and an on-going Police Investigation regarding witness intimidation (which is a criminal offence) passing off (also a criminal offence) and for libel and slander. We are already aware that following the court case, comments are being made on social media by individuals reported to the court and the police and those comments are being passed onto the appropriate authorities. This is why the statement has been made today 13th December. The case had huge implications for all animals on loan contracts, all rescues large or small with charitable status or not. The trolling on social media was instrumental in the case being brought and for driving the spurious complexities – when in fact the case was based upon breaches in a simple loan contract. Animal rescue is hard enough without the new trial by ‘social media judge and jury’ precious time is wasted by rescue organisations dealing with the daily hate mail on their face book accounts – time and resources that should and could be used efficiently in the welfare of the animals that they fight for. Horse Rescue is facing its most difficult period in recent history, the impact of trolls and hate campaigns have had devastating effects including closure of some very good rescues and sanctuaries, loss of homes, disbursement and destruction of horses. The impact is clear, less organisations available to rescue horses. Free speech is one thing – hate campaigns, bullying using social media, naming organisations and individuals, spreading gossip, cannot be justified especially when people are not aware of the facts of an individual case. We wonder if those same individuals encouraging Tilley on in litigation will now be so keen to help pay Tilley’s legal costs, since she has lost. This case was brought by Tilley with an equine lawyer, Lady Cooper did not employ a lawyer and neither did Running Free Farm, we are lay people, that relied upon the truth and evidence, we believed that we would always win when the facts were heard in court. We thank all of our friends, and those people that we didn't know before this all began, for their support and kindness throughout the case. We hope those that were involved in the harassment campaign are ashamed of the role they played in a case that had no business in a court of law. Everything stated here is a matter of public record and is the truth and nothing but the truth

No comments: