1. Dear Sonya, at the outset, in order that there be a conviction for criminal damage, there would have to be some positive act on the part of your husband to damage your neighbour's shed. His tractor knocking against the trunk of a tree is not a positive act on his part which would give rise to liability on his part. Additionally, he would have to had intentionally sought to damage her shed. Doing so accidentally does not constitute criminal damage. So, here, the police are likely to give the deaf ear to what your neighbour says. She is over reacting and exaggerating what has happened here and the police are likely to have little interest in her claims of criminal damage.
2. Additionally, if the gardener has accidentally caused harm to her shed, this again would not constitute criminal damage. Doing something accidentally does not constitute criminal damage unless the person was reckless. So again, your gardener has nothing to worry about. What I would suggest here is that you or someone else meet with this neighbour and see if something can be done to restore orderly neighbourly relations. Complaining to the police when there is little cause does nothing for relations.
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4. Your husband can refuse to go to the police station. HOwever, this merely means that he will be arrested at some point and taken forcibly to the police station to answer questions. Accordingly, I would suggest it is much wiser to simply attend when it is suitable. You should seek to maintain police goodwill in this, as otherwise, things could go downhill fast. Don't be as unreasonable as your neighbour. Whilst a telephone call might seem sufficient, I would advise you to keep the police on your side and not to be perceived as being part of the problem by the police. Maintain goodwill.
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