Bitter separation battle results in estranged husband appearing in court

Darlington and Stockton Times: Teesside Magistrates Court Teesside Magistrates Court

A HIGH earning oil industry worker turned amateur sleuth to try to thwart his estranged wife's attempt to win a bumper divorce settlement, a court heard.

Samantha Lisle, 38, claimed to be unfit to work and was receiving incapacity benefit when her estranged husband Andrew Maddison obtained photographs and video footage of her taking part in a show-jumping event.

But it was Mr Maddison who ended up in court after later taking pictures of Ms Lisle handling a fully-laden wheelbarrow at the livery yard where the warring couple's horses were stabled side by side.

His actions, it is claimed, put him in breach of a court order obtained by Ms Lisle after the couple's seven year marriage ended bitterly last October.

Mr Maddison claims he later discovered that she had been having a long-running affair.

However, Ms Lisle succeeded in an application to a county court to get a non molestation order banning Maddison, 46, from speaking to her or coming within 100 yards of her new home.

At aBOUT the same time she launched a bid for a lump sum divorce settlement and a claim for spousal maintenance based partly on her being medically unfit to work due to injuries received in a fall eight years ago, a court heard.

Both the court proceedings infuriated North Sea production technician mR Maddison, who told Teesside magistrates he set about gathering evidence to defend himself against his estranged wife.

The row resulted in two flare-ups at the Briarwood Livery Yard in the village of Redmarshall, near Stockton in January and February.

Mr Maddison, of Green Leas, Carlton, near Stockton, was arrested after both incidents and police obtained a warrant to search his home and cars, finding the two snaps he'd taken of his wife on a camera in one of his vehicles.

He denies two breaches of a non molestation order.

Giving evidence Ms Lisle said: "On January 26 I was seeing to my horses when Andrew Maddison went to use a wheelbarrow I had been using and I told him I was still using it.

"He said 'you complete bitch how dare you say this about me?' He was referring to a form I had filled out as part of the non molestation order."

Of the incident in February, she claimed she felt intimidated when she saw that he was training a camera on her.

In his evidence Mr Maddison, a production technician working in the North Sea off Aberdeen, said: "I found out she was having an affair with someone and had been for quite a period of time, I was not inclined to give her anything. She had a good job and resigned from it for no apparent reason."

After hearing all the evidence magistrates adjourned the case until December 6 when they will hear closing submissions before delivering their verdict.

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