Former racehorse trainer jailed in child custody row

Vicky Haigh at her stables in Wiseton near Gainsborough
Vicky Haigh at her stables in Wiseton near Gainsborough
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A FORMER racehorse trainer and jockey at the centre of a long-running child custody row has been jailed for three years for breaching a court order.

Vicky Haigh, 41, who concocted sex abuse allegations about her ex-lover, was found guilty by a jury of breaching a non-molestation order involving her seven-year-old daughter.

Sentencing her at Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Peter Kelson said she had fought the trial “dirty” and added: “It was one more horrendous episode in a young child’s life.”

He also blasted the Earl of Huntington, who wrote a letter of support for Haigh to the court, saying her offence was totally out of character.

Judge Kelson said: “He is gravely misguided about your attitude to the British justice system. It could not be more disrespectful.”

He said he was jailing Haigh because it was a “completely unrealistic hope” that she would comply with any court order.

The trial in November heard Haigh had been involved in a long and bitter dispute with her ex-partner David Tune since they split up five years ago.

Haigh approached her seven-year-old daughter, who cannot be named, and Mr Tune at a garage in Bawtry, near Doncaster, in March.

An order was made in February by a High Court judge that Haigh should have no contact with the girl.

Details of the order were served at Haigh’s home and copies were emailed to her iPhone and sent to her mother’s address in Doncaster.

But Mr Tune, 41, told the jury Haigh walked towards his car with the child inside as he was parking it on March 29 this year.

He said Haigh walked to the car and opened the passenger door where his daughter was sitting.

He said: “Victoria was screaming demonically. It all happened in a flash. She said: “What have you done? This man has abused her”. She just kept repeating those words.

“She was screaming at the top of her voice. Our daughter was very upset, she just wanted it to stop.”

Haigh, who was pregnant at the time and now has a six-month-old child with her new partner, claimed her former boyfriend deliberately set up the meeting.

Haigh, formerly of Worksop, Notts, who used to train horses at Bawtry, near Doncaster, now lives in southern Ireland.

She told the court she did not receive any copies of the High Court order and if she was going to abduct her daughter she would have done it in secret with a fast getaway car waiting.

The jury took only an hour to find her guilty and she was remanded in custody.

In August the country’s most senior family judge. Sir Nicholas Wall, in a rare public judgment said Haigh had lied about her ex-partner being a paedophile and spread the “scandalous” claims on the internet.

The judge named and shamed her, saying she had made up the allegations and even coached her daughter to repeat the claims.

He said Mr Tune should be freed from the false smear that he was a child abuser and he could “tell the world” he was not a paedophile.

The girl now lives with her father in Doncaster and is subject to a care plan organised by the council.

He ruled that Ms Haigh, Mr Tune and the local authority could be identified but not the child.

Sally Donaldson, for Haigh said she was trying to make a new life for herself in Ireland.