Woman in Daffodils

Woman in daffodils row tackled by pyjama Tory
By Will Bennett

A TORY councillor took great pride in the daffodils he grew on a grass verge outside his home.

Unfortunately, they were a continual annoyance to Victoria Battersby, who complained that sticks placed to protect the blooms annoyed her dog. This led to a confrontation in the normally quiet village of Upton Grey, near Basingstoke, Rants, when Tony Tilbury saw Mrs Battersby remove the sticks. As he rushed out to replace them, hi·s pyjamas came open and he fell on top of her, a court heard.

Mr Tilbury was bound over to keep the peace for a month in the sum of £5 by Basingstoke magistrates yesterday. An allegation of common assault was dropped by the prosecution and he did not face any charges.

Mr Tilbury, 55, a member of Basingstoke District Council for four years and a former vice-chairman of the constituency Conservative association, put sticks round his daffodils to prevent dogs damaging them. Mrs Battersby removed them several times but Mr Tilbury always replaced them, the court heard.

Ewe Hancock, prosecuting, said that on the day in question, she became aware of shouting from a window and she was confronted by Mr Tilbury. She says she was assaulted and suffered a scratch to her head.

Nigel Bourne, defending, said it was a regrettable incident that never should have happened. He added: "This particular verge had been tended by Mr Tilbury for many years and was a very pleasant part of a rural scene, with daffodils growing ·on either side. The land belonged to a private individual and was tended by Mr Tilbury by consent. He felt it was important to put down sticks to prevent dogs damaging daffodils."

Mr Tilbury, who will now move his daffodils to a new site, said:" My pyjamas flew open as I grabbed hold of her. I fell over on top of her. I actually reported myself for indecent exposure and technical assault. This should never have come to court. I regard this as an act to protect the beauty of the village." 1

[1] UK News Electronic Telegraph, Thu Aug 1 1996, Issue 440. Courtesy David Tilbury of Oregon.

Previous snippet: