Rampaging cows were set on cult members, court hears

The Herald, Australia/July 15, 2009

A farmer drove a herd of rampaging cattle at members of a religious cult during a bizarre dispute with his neighbour, a court has heard.

Ian Grindlay is also alleged to have encouraged a friend to beat up a martial arts master who had set up a training camp in the commune-style eco-village next door.

Left-field environmentalist Maryse Anand has sued her neighbour for £63,000 over accusations, but Mr Grindlay has counter-claimed and won an interdict banning Mrs Anand, who calls herself the Reverend Mother, from planting crops on her own land. advertisement

Mrs Anand is due to appear at Perth Sheriff Court today to answer allegations that she has breached the terms of the interdict imposed against her earlier this year.

She was banned from interfering with Mr Grindlay's "use and quiet enjoyment" of Boreland Farm, which she and her estranged husband own.

She has also been banned from blocking access to the farmland and cutting boundary fences, locking gates and sabotaging the animal husbandry infrastructures.

The dispute between the neighbours in picturesque Fearnan, near Aberfeldy, Perthshire, dates back several years to the wake of the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Mr Grindlay was given permission by the Anands to graze his cattle on their land in return for him providing £7000 worth of work in kind for them annually.

However, in a legal action claiming £63,231 damages, Mrs Anand claims that he failed to provide adequate work and even flooded her land on one occasion.

She said he failed to erect teepees and had done nowhere near enough to justify the amount he was gaining by grazing his herd of cattle on her land.

Mrs Anand, who is originally from Holland, accused her neighbour of hampering her attempts to build an eco- village, an education facility and a martial arts school.

She claims that his use of the land was meant to be only short-term and she had planned to use all of her land to create the self-sustaining village. Among the ideas she was planning to implement was a school "based on holistic, whole-person approaches for children and young people."

The farm was also to feature "self-build eco-houses", a health clinic and "lab", a woodland burial area and "a cluster of earthships".

"The work he carried out was defective," she said of her neighbour. "He has never erected a teepee. He built fences while I was away from the farm. He allows and encourages his cattle to wander over the whole of the farm causing damage to my erections and projects."

In return, Mr Grindlay accused his neighbour of subjecting him to a tirade of abuse in front of junior members of the international Sai Baba cult, of which she is believed to be a member.

Mrs Anand's legal action replies: "He drove cattle onto land and intimidated members of Sai Youth, who were assisting with her school."

She said that she renovated a cottage on the farm for martial arts master Shen Bowers to set up a training school that she claimed would make her £13,000 profit per annum.

"During September 2006 Mr Grindlay threatened and intimidated Shen Bowers and his teachers. Shen Bowers was attacked by one of his friends," she claims.

Mrs Anand bought the 140-acre farm on the banks of the River Tay eight years ago for £350,000 and claims to have spent a further £20,000 on legal action to try to remove the cattle.

Mr Grindlay said: "If she had been a bit more reasonable a few years back, it would never have got to this bizarre situation."

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