A suicidal man who sent letters under the alias of a horse was punched by a woman’s jealous husband, a court has heard. Graham Webber was thumped in the face by Mark Fretwell after Mr Webber had an argument with Fretwell’s wife, Samantha. Fretwell, of Glebelands Stables, Kings Nympton, Umberleigh, Devon, said Mr Webber was obsessed with Samantha and had been harassing her. North Devon Magistrates’ Court heard Fretwell snapped and went after Mr Webber with a knife and a hammer.
The court heard Mr Webber was a friend of the Fretwell’s who had provided care for the family’s horses and given riding lessons to Mrs Fretwell. Sue Roberts, for the prosecution, said Fretwell was jealous of Mr Webber and the pair had had disagreements in the past. She said: “On November 30 Mrs Fretwell had gone to Mr Webber’s house when an argument broke out. She left, though they resolved the dispute over the phone later that day. Police then received a 999 call from Mrs Fretwell saying her husband was on his way to Mr Webber’s house with a hammer and knife.”
Miss Roberts said Fretwell told his wife he was going to “wrap a hammer round his head if he found him”. Miss Roberts said: “Later on Mr Webber called the police to say Fretwell had assaulted him. He said Fretwell told him to stay away in from his family before punching him in the face through his open car window. The police attended and saw a cut and swelling on Mr Webber’s face.” Fretwell said he introduced his wife to Mr Webber two years ago. He said: “He used to give her riding lessons and they rode with the Tiverton Stag Hounds. I never had a problem with him, he increased her riding confidence.
“But then it went pear-shaped. A mutual friend, who is a horse whisperer, told us he was trying to get me out of the frame so he could have my wife to himself. He became obsessed by her. He even threatened to kill himself and shoot all his horses. He also promised to leave her money in his will and would write letters to her from his horse.” The court heard Mr Webber has been given a harassment notice by police and ordered not to speak to Mrs Fretwell. Fretwell was fined £250 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Webber. He was also ordered to pay £150 costs and a £25 victim surcharge.