Consultant cleared of threatening rangers
A CONSULTANT surgeon and “thorn in the side” of the National Trust because of disputes about land near his home has been cleared of threatening behaviour towards two rangers.
The lawyer for Richard Sion Williams, 52, insisted the rangers’ evidence was a “wicked lie”.
Mobile phone video footage taken by Mr Williams was shown to magistrates at Llandudno.
Barrister Elen Owen, defending, said: “Mr Williams is clearly a thorn in the side of some of the members of staff of the National Trust locally, if not nationally.
“He’s prepared to take legal action to right what he perceives to be wrongs by this large organisation.
“Unfortunately for these two witnesses, the camera doesn’t lie.”
Following a two-day trial, magistrates’ chairman Emrys Williams said there were “so many inconsistencies in the evidence from both parties” and the prosecution hadn’t proved the case.
The magistrates refused a prosecution application for a restraining order against the doctor (pictured right).
“We don’t think a restraining order should be made but we hope common sense shall prevail between all parties,” the court chairman added.
The doctor’s home was originally part of the Vaynol Estate at Bangor and the National Trust owns some of the land.
National Trust rangers Will Westwood and his manager John Whiteley had alleged that, on March 13 on a track within the estate, they had been put in fear during a “slowmotion” 4x4 vehicle chase by the doctor, who is an ear, nose and throat consultant at Bangor.
Mr Whiteley alleged Mr Williams was “driving like a madman”, using his horn and flashing his headlights.
The court heard they had removed a number of concrete blocks placed on a grass verge and put them back over Mr Williams’ hedge.
However, in evidence, Mr Williams denied shouting any threats or continually sounding his horn and flashing his lights.
He said the other vehicle travelled at one or two miles per hour and he wanted to pass but had been obstructed.
“I’m late for work,” he said in one of the videos shown to the court.
When he got out of his vehicle at one stage to speak to the rangers about the manner of their driving, the wing mirror of the slow-moving National Trust vehicle allegedly collided with his arm.
The doctor denied the allegation against him and rejected a prosecution suggestion that he had wanted to confront the National Trust workers and had lost his temper.
In court, Mr Williams said: “I feel as though I have had to live life with a camera. I feel I have to evidence everything I do when accessing my home and living in my home.”