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|JANET HUGHES SETTLES DEFRA CASE|
AFTER LONG FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
Janet Hughes, from Churchstoke, Montgomeryshire whose opposition to the Foot and Mouth slaughter stopped the cull in the Brecon Beacons, has finally been able to settle the case which was brought against her by Defra. Defra wanted the sum of £17,000 but the very good news is that Defra has settled for the £4,000 which Janet was able to raise from her many supporters throughout Britain.
MOTHER ENDS FOOT AND MOUTH LEGAL BATTLE
The Shropshire Star
20 August 2003
Exclusive by Christy Tuer
A Mid Wales mother who tried to sue the Government over its handling of the foot and mouth crisis has finally seen the end of a two-year battle which saw bailiffs try to seize £17,000 of her property.
Janet Hughes, of Churchstoke, failed in her attempt to take legal action against the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, leaving her with a bill of more than £17,000.
But the environmental science teacher, who locked herself in her home and refused entry to bailiffs when they tried to seize her property in January, has now settled out of court for a sum of just £4,000.
Ms Hughes was granted legal aid in June to help fight the bailiffs' warrant and said it was this which helped bring the whole sorry situation to a close.
"I was granted legal aid to return to court and after my solicitor contacted Defra they wrote back and said they would accept £4,000," she said.
"So I decided to accept that because there was always the risk that if we went back to court it could be more."
But the irony of the situation, said Ms Hughes, was that the money which has now been paid to Defra was actually public money sent to her from wellwishers across the country.
"That is the only way we would have been able to pay," she said.
"I didn't want to give it to them at all but I do want to thank all the people who helped out. I won't forget it."
Ms Hughes said today she was delighted the case had finally come to an end but said she was still angry about the way she had been treated.
"I'm so pleased it's over, I could not do any more to fight it.
"At least now we won't have to put padlocks on everything when we go out," she said.
"But legally the bailiffs have still got my goods seized on paper so that will have to be sorted out.
"I'm still very very angry and it will take a long time to try to forget it."
Defra spokesman Tony McDougal today confirmed the money had been paid and the case had come to an end.
"We have received the cheque from Janet Hughes. We consider the case to be closed," he said.