Looks like Marc has trouble wi neighbours, it's good that it's gone the right way
A YOUNG man is facing jail for falsely accusing a businessman of shooting at him during a feud between neighbouring landowners.
The "wicked" scheme was designed to get innocent farmer Marc Lamont into serious trouble, Guildford Crown Court heard.
The shooting claim resulted in Mr Lamont being arrested in a police swoop on his farm in Warlingham.
He was taken away, interrogated and had his clothes seized by detectives before ultimately being released without charge.
Instead his accuser Danny Spencer ended up in court and was convicted of perverting the course of justice.
Spencer, 20, the boyfriend of one of Mr Lamont's neighbours, claimed that the farmer had fired a shotgun at him.
"But it was a wicked lie," said Simon Wild, prosecuting.
Spencer, of Blackmans Lane, Warlingham, denied the offence but was unanimously found guilty by a jury. He is due to be sentenced on May 18.
The judge, Mr Recorder Susman, warned the defendant to prepare himself for a spell in prison.
He said: "I take a very serious view of this offence. It could have resulted in Mr Lamont being destroyed and facing a very long sentence."
Spencer's co-defendant, Grace Morgan, 18 - his girlfriend's sister - was cleared of the same charge.
She lives with her sister and parents in Blackmans Lane, and the court heard that the alleged incident on May 16 last year was the climax of a long-running and ugly dispute between the family and Mr Lamont, whose land adjoined theirs.
Miss Morgan admitted in evidence that relations between them had become "very bad" over the years.
"It was a dispute over boundaries," she said.
The court was told that Mr Lamont believed his sheep were being pestered and that other people had been trespassing on his land.
But matters came to a head when both defendants went on to his property in pursuit of a horse that had strayed, jurors heard.
Mr Wild said Spencer claimed that Mr Lamont appeared at the window of his house and fired a shotgun at them.
The court was told Miss Morgan had also alleged that the farmer shot at them.
Mr Lamont's property was surrounded by police and he was arrested, but the investigation against him was halted after examination of CCTV footage on his premises did not support the account given by the two defendants.
It was also revealed that the sound of an explosion was caused by a detonator set up to scare off intruders, the jury was told.
Giving evidence in his defence last week, Spencer said: "I heard a bang. It sounded like a shotgun."
He told jurors he saw Mr Lamont standing by the window of his house.
"I could see his face clearly. I just knew it was him," he said.
"There was a gun pointing out of the window. It was a single-barrelled shotgun. He had shot out of the window at us."
Under cross-examination, he accepted that the bang he heard could have been a detonator going off.
"It sounds exactly the same as a shotgun," Spencer added.
But Mr Wild suggested: "It was a lie you told the police. You told wicked lies about that."
Spencer acknowledged that he might have been mistaken, but he insisted: "I didn't lie. I think I was telling the truth."
Miss Morgan said in her evidence: "I heard a loud crack. It was the sound like a gun being fired."
She said she ran towards her house shouting: "He's just shot at us or the horse."
Miss Morgan added: "I wouldn't lie. A criminal record would jeopardise my future.
"It wasn't a lie. It was a mistake. I honestly believed that I had been shot at. I was in shock."