Rock star aids Russian, 92, who was shorn of her sheep

Donation saves flock for woman sued by driver who ran into one of her animals

A musician from Hampstead has emerged as the unlikely saviour of a 92-year-old Russian woman who got into trouble when her sheep wandered astray during a snowstorm.

The drama started last month, when Petka, one of a flock of sheep belonging to Alexandra Vdovina, was mowed down by a Ford Focus belonging to a local businessman from the Lipetsk region in western Russia. To add insult to injury, the businessman, Oleg Kuznetsov, then brought a lawsuit against the pensioner for damages to the car. Ms Vdovina was ordered to pay nearly £2,000 in costs, more than 10 times her monthly pension. According to Russian law, she was liable for the damage inflicted by the unfortunate sheep, as she had not kept it properly tethered.

The Russian pensioner, who was born when the last tsar was still alive and lives in a simple cottage with no telephone or indoor lavatory, was unable to pay, so bailiffs seized her £200 savings and remaining sheep. She said that she was so upset that she was unable to eat or sleep.

The village of Ilinka has been talking about nothing but the ovine saga for the past two weeks. Did the sheep really belong to the wizened old lady? Was the Ford Focus speeding? Would the remaining sheep be released on bail?

After the story was featured on Russian TV, the woman received several offers of financial help from concerned viewers, including one from the unlikely source of Hampstead. Francis Monkman, a composer and musician who has collaborated with the Shadows and Brian Eno, heard about the story on the English-language TV news channel Russia Today. He was so moved by the pensioner's plight that he offered to cover the costs of the fine.

"I hope you find a nice sheep to replace the other one, and I hope your life becomes happy again," said Mr Monkman in a recorded statement.

"Thank you so much for your help," said Ms Vdovina in a message delivered from her bed to Mr Monkman and Russian viewers who have also helped with financial donations. "May God bless you and give you many years of healthy life".

Her son said he would spend the money on the legal expenses and any left over would go towards a replacement sheep. He promised that he would keep it tethered in future.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Metail Ltd: Business Development Manager for Asia Pacific

£35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...

Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Owner

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product ...

Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - £17,000 Basic, OTE Uncapped

£17000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company are looking for a S...

Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line Technical Analyst

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 1st / 2nd Line Technical Anal...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate