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Widow ordered to pay compensation for framing farmer in village vendetta

The widow of a hero RAF pilot has ordered to pay £3,000 compensation to an innocent farmer who she framed on trumped-up gun charges, writes Edward Davenport.

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Widow must pay compensation for framing farmer in village vendetta

Lyn Fisk claimed she had been threatened by Andrew Thorne who she said had pointed a shotgun at her in a narrow country lane near her home at Ashreigney, near Winkleigh.

She said he had told her he would kill her if she did not move away and then laughed mockingly and ran off into woodland.

The police helicopter was launched and 12 officers and three armed response units went to Mr Thorne’s Crabdown Farm where he was arrested and held for 17 and a half hours before being released.

Police realised her story was a lie because a CCTV camera on a cottage in the lane captured the incident on the afternoon of Saturday September 9 last year and showed that Mr Thorne was not carrying a gun.


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He did not even have access to a gun, having surrendered his shotguns two years earlier after Fisk complained he had harassed her by sending love letters.

Fisk invented her story about the gun at the end of a lengthy neighbours dispute in which Mr Thorne and others complained about her breaking planning rules by building a log cabin which she rented out to holidaymakers.

He claimed that she turned against him after the break up of a brief affair and had blocked access to woodland where he was working by parking a vehicle on a narrow track.

She moved to Devon from Whitestaunton, near Chard, Somerset eight years ago after the tragic death of her husband Mark, an RAF search and rescue pilot who died in an electrocution accident at their former home.

She was spared an immediate jail sentence after a judge was told that she has just sold the house for £875,000 and plans to move more than 100 miles away to make a new start.

Fisk, aged 59, of Ash Mill, Ashreigney, denied attempting to pervert the course of justice but was found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court last month.

She was jailed for 18 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 250 hours unpaid community work and pay £3,000 compensation and £1,640 costs by Judge Timothy Rose.

He told her:"The jury saw through your lies. You put Mr Thorne very much in harm’s way. You did him direct harm by depriving him of his liberty by him being arrested and held in custody.

"As you must have known, armed police officers were sent to find him and there was a risk, if things had not turned out as they did. There was a risk with armed officers present of something more serious happening.

"Someone who did what you did ought to be going to prison but I am able to take a course of action which is frankly merciful and compassionate and will enable you to make reparation for the wrong you did.

"A very large part of my thought is the fact that you fully intend to get out of the area and never come back. I expect you to go through with that. I hope this will bring closure to everybody in the situation."

Fisk’s false allegations were the culmination of a growing animosity between her and Mr Thorne which started in about 2015.

She alleged he embarked on a campaign of harassment and intimidation after she rejected his advances. This included shooting in woods near her home and sending her unwanted love letters.

He said they had a sexual relationship which she ended after he had finished helping her to build her new home.

Fisk moved to the village, which has a population of just 446, after the tragic death of her husband Flight Lieutenant Mark Fisk, who died in an electrocution accident while doing DIY in May 2010.

He had been an RAF helicopter pilot for almost 30 years and served in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, and on search and rescue, flying Pumas, Chinooks and Sea Kings.

He died just weeks after taking part in a dramatic rescue operation in which he helped to save the crew of a stricken freighter in the Atlantic Ocean while operating at the furthest distance limit of his Sea King.

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