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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Champion jockey and dad cleared of attack on Cumbrian farmer

A farmer and his son who were accused of ambushing and attacking a relative with whom they were having a long-running land dispute have been cleared.

Tristan Davidson photo
Tristan Davidson

Related: Cumbrian family in farm row trial await verdict

Gordon Davidson, 66, and his champion jockey son Tristan, 31, have consistently denied violently attacking 63-year-old John Wigham.

A jury at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday found both father and son not guilty of causing Mr Wigham – the older defendant’s brother-in-law – grievous bodily harm.

On Friday, they also cleared the Davidsons of causing the same man grievous bodily harm with intent to do so.

During the their trial, the prosecution had claimed the father and son, both from Laversdale, near Carlisle, attacked Mr Wigham in a country lane, subjecting him to a “sustained and brutal” attack on March 8.

Mr Davidson senior was said to have attacked Mr Wigham with a shovel while his son was alleged to have joined in, hitting him with his feet and fists.

But a jury rejected the prosecution version, dismissing both charges.

Speaking after the second pair of not guilty verdicts yesterday, Tristan Davidson said: “The last eight months have been a nightmare for me and my dad.

“We’ve always known what happened. We’re just glad that we were able to get across our side of the story. We feel that justice has been done.”

He and his father thanked their family for their support and their legal teams, particularly barristers Kim Whittlestone and David Birrell.

In his evidence, Mr Wigham told the court he feared he was going to be killed and that he had done nothing inflammatory to provoke any trouble.

But Mr Davidson senior said he had neither kicked nor punched the other man. In his evidence, Tristan Davidson said Mr Wigham and his wife were desperate to get him and his father into trouble.

He told the court that he is a hardworking farmer, who gets up at 3.30am every day to tend to his animals and look after his horses.

He is also a committed and talented jockey, who earlier this year clinched the Northern Area Men's Jockeys Championship title for the 2010 point-to-point season.

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