A farmer who accused his neighbour of mistreating his sheep by not watering them in scorching hot weather was found to be the real culprit.
William Barr (54) appeared before Carndonagh District Court in Co Donegal charged with two charges of cruelty to animals.
Barr had accused his neighbour Patsy Barr (no relation) of not filling up his water barrels during stifling heat in the summer of 2018.
He contacted animal welfare inspectors in Letterkenny to make the accusations against Patsy Barr.
The court heard that the two men had been involved in a long-running dispute.
Between June 26-29, 2018, William Barr contacted the Department of Agriculture in Letterkenny claiming sheep on his neighbour's farm at Ballymacarthur, Greencastle were not being watered.
Garda Sgt Sean McDaid told the court that on the day in question, temperatures in the area had reached 25.1°C or 77°F. There were 13 sheep on Patsy Barr's land and some of them were in distress.
The court was told that when the initial complaint was made against him, Patsy Barr decided to install a covert camera.
When Gardai viewed the footage they saw William Barr dumping the water out of his neighbour's water-feeding barrels.
Sgt McDaid said the water was filled up again an hour after it was dumped out. He added that Patsy Barr looked after his animals well.
Frank Dorrian, solicitor for the accused, said his client was a vulnerable man who was trying to get at Patsy Barr through his sheep.
He stressed that this was not an effort to injure the animals.
There had been no incidents between the two men since this had happened almost two years ago, the court was told.
Judge Paul Kelly said he planned to deal with the matter by way of a peace bond but would like to speak to William Barr.
He adjourned the case until September.