farmer who defended his house and property by flipping a automobile off his land has been cleared of harmful driving and legal injury.
Fourth-generation hill farmer Robert Hooper, 57, argued in court docket that an Englishman’s house is his citadel, and he had been assaulted earlier than he used his tractor to take away the Vauxhall Corsa final June.
Cell phone footage confirmed how he used a telehandler with forks to elevate the £16,000 automobile from the lane outdoors his farm in Newbiggin-in-Teesdale, County Durham flip it, and push in on to its facet on the highway outdoors.
Shirtless passenger Charlie Burns, 21, who had been visiting the realm that day and had drunk as much as seven bottles of lager, was knocked to the ground by the automobile’s lifting forks.
The jury at Durham Crown Courtroom cleared Mr Hooper after a four-day trial at Durham Crown Courtroom.
Mr Hooper had informed the jury he was punched by Mr Burns when he first politely requested the boys to depart as they have been blocking entry on what was a busy day on the farm.
I felt threatened and an Englishman’s house is his citadel, and my citadel begins at that entrance gate
He informed the court docket he was conscious of an “inflow” of youths visiting the realm that summer season, inflicting anti-social behaviour, littering and damaging partitions.
The farmer claimed the youthful man punched him twice within the farm buggy he was driving, bursting his lip.
Mr Hooper informed the court docket: “I assumed it’s time to get out of there, and I stated ‘In case you don’t transfer it, I’ll’.
“My thoughts was racing.
“I assumed we have now a little bit of an issue right here, there’s two of them, half my age, I didn’t know what that they had by way of weapons, or what they have been able to doing.
“I assumed if the automobile was off the property, that may be them off the property, out of the way in which.”
Mr Hooper stated he was defending his property and himself.
He stated: “I felt threatened and an Englishman’s house is his citadel, and my citadel begins at that entrance gate.”
In his closing speech to the jury, Michael Rawlinson, defending, gave the origin of the saying, referring again to the choose Sir Edward Coke’s feedback which set authorized precedents in 1604.
Referring to arguments about how Mr Hooper might have acted otherwise that day, Mr Rawlinson additionally quoted the boxer Mike Tyson saying: “Everybody has a plan till they get punched within the mouth.”
Mr Hooper, who has no earlier convictions, had a busy day baling silage and had gone again to the farm for his tea, meaning to exit once more to hold on working.
Mr Burns had been consuming with mates at Low Pressure waterfall, and having consumed as much as seven bottles of lager he was meaning to stroll 52 miles again to South Tyneside.
He informed the jury he noticed his pal Elliott Johnson whose Corsa had suffered a double puncture, which was why they parked on the farmer’s lane.
In his closing remarks, David Ward, prosecuting, informed the jury the Crown was not saying Mr Hooper was a “thug”, however that his actions have been “completely irrational” on the day.
Choose Ray Singh had outlined routes to verdict for the jury, explaining the legislation surrounding self-defence and a defendant defending himself and his property.