£45,000 legal bill for pot plant row woman



A woman who took the Homebase DIY chain to the High Court alleging she was slandered over a £1 pot plant has ended up with a £45,000 legal bill.

A jury of five men and seven women found that none of the three staff had accused Jo-Ann Bowen-Griffith of swapping a £12 price tag on a betulia plant for a £1 tag.

After the jury had left the court, William Bennett, representing Homebase, told Mr Justice Eady that his clients were now entitled to their costs of the case, which he estimated at £45,000.

Miss Bowen-Griffith, who represented herself but left the court when the jury retired in the morning and has not been seen since, must now find the legal charges or face bankruptcy and liquidation of her assets, including her home.

She is believed to live alone in a flat in Hendon, north London.

A spokesman for Homebase said: "Our staff always maintained that all the allegations made by Miss Bowen-Griffith were untrue and are delighted with the outcome of the court case."

Miss Bowen-Griffith, a keen gardener who said she regularly takes part in competitions, had told the jury that when she was accused of changing the label at the New Southgate branch in north London, she felt "extremely upset and angry".

She claimed that during the row with staff, she spotted a couple in another checkout queue who were her rivals in competitions.