Daily Express

Son’s £600,000 farm victory over his mum

- By Paul Keogh

A FARMER’S son has defeated his 76-year-old mother in a £600,000 court fight over the family’s land.

Barry Harding told a judge that since the age of 13 he has been “continuall­y worked” at the family farm and was “prevented from achieving any educationa­l attainment­s”.

Mr Harding’s father Trevor died in 2017 and he fell out with his mother Joan. She left the farm, claiming Barry had made her life “unbearable”. The court heard the locks were later changed.


Mrs Harding sued her son. She accused him of “excluding” her and exerting “undue influence” while getting her to sign her share of Cornerfiel­ds Farm in Denham, Bucks, to a trust in 2008.

But after a hearing at Central London County Court, Judge Mark Raeside KC threw out Mrs Harding’s allegation­s and dismissed her claim for £600,000. This included repayment of loans she said she made, a share of profits and compensati­on for being excluded. He said decisions made in 2008 had resulted in a “not uncommon trust situation for a property. They all benefitted from it, they received independen­t advice.”

He ruled the six-figure claim was “unsustaina­ble” but she was due a much smaller sum to be decided later.

The court heard the family started breeding pigs nearly 80 years ago. Mr Harding said he started working there under his father and grandfathe­r, sacrificin­g his education.

The farm ceased pig breeding 20 years ago after a foot and mouth outbreak but Mr Harding said he has invested £500,000 to turn it into a skip-hire and cattle-feed business.

It was bought from the council in 2008, with a right-to-buy discount.

 ?? ?? At court…Joan Harding and son Barry
At court…Joan Harding and son Barry
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