The respondent, Bird built a boundary wall and fence that trespassed upon land belonging to his neighbour, the appellant Horsford. Horsford applied to the court for an injunction to remove the offending boundary wall and fence but his application was refused. Instead, the trial judge ordered Bird to pay Horsford substantial damages including an unspecified amount for aggravated damages for a "total disregard" of Horsford's rights. Bird appealed against the level of damages. The Court of Appeal agreed with Bird and said that there was no case for aggravated damages. The Court therefore reduced the damages payable to Horsford to some 20% of the original sum awarded by the trial judge. Horsford appealed to the Privy Council, asking it to restore the original sum of damages awarded by the trial judge.

What was the proper measure of damages payable by Bird to Horsford for trespass?