Brothers in court battle over organic farm
Two brothers who run a successful organic meat business have entered into a High Court battle over the ownership of the £1.2m farm that forms the base of their business.
Sandilands Farm in Rogate, near Petersfield, was left to Felicity Sprackling by her late husband, Richard, but her stepchildren Shon and Simon Sprackling claim that their father made a mistake and meant only to leave her the farmhouse.
The brothers still run their business, Rother Valley Organics, from the farm - which is home to a the family's herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle, the company offices and a state-of-the-art meat cutting plant.
According to a report in The Telegraph, the brother's lawyer Eason Rahjah told Mr Justice Norris that Mr Sprackling's final will left Sandiland's Farm to Mrs Sprackling, but this was a clerical error and should have read 'Sandiland's Farmhouse'.
Rahjah added that earlier wills showed that Mr Sprackling wanted his wife to have the farmhouse and fishing lake only and argued that the deceased died of a brain tumour, so it was unsurprising he did not notice the mistake.
Mrs Sprackling says that her husband always intended to leave her the 106-acre farm. Representing Mrs Sprackling, Nicola Preston said that the will was read by Mr Sprackling and to Mr Sprackling before he signed it in 2005.
"The only conclusion is that Mr Sprackling was satisfied that the words of the will, as executed, reflected his intentions," she said.
The hearing continues.