A 'frightened' farmer who used a forklift to overturn a car on his driveway told jurors he felt threatened because 'an Englishman's home is his castle'. Watch the incident unfold below:
Robert Hooper, 57, is currently on trial at Durham Crown Court for the incident, which occurred on 5 June 2021.
The farmer denies dangerous driving and criminal damage following mobile phone footage played in court that showed Hooper used a yellow tele-handler to lift a silver Vauxhall Corsa from the entrance to his property at Brockersgill Farm, Newbiggin-in-Teesdale, County Durham.
The farmer proceeded to push the car down the road on its side, before dumping it and spinning around.
The video then showed the tractor strike Connor Burns, 21 before Hooper drove back to his land.
The 21-year-old says he was visiting nearby Low Force waterfall with friends.
Hooper said he had politely asked Mr Burns and the driver of the Corsa, Elliott Johnson, to move the vehicle from his farm entrance on what was a busy day for him.
According to the farmer, the shirtless Mr Burns - who told the court he had drank around six bottles of Corona lager that day - said to him: "I'm not effing moving this car."
Hooper claimed that the younger man then burst his lip by punching him twice in the buggy that he was driving, as per the Daily Mail.
He also complained that an 'influx' of youths had been visiting the area that summer, causing anti-social behaviour, drug-taking, littering and damaging walls.
Hooper told the court: "I thought 'It is time to get out of there', and I said 'if you don't move it, I will'. My mind was racing.
"I thought 'we have a bit of a problem here, there's two of them, half my age,'I didn't know what they had in terms of weapons, or what they were capable of doing.
He returned to his farmyard and got in his yellow loader after putting its forks on and went back down the lane to the two men to deal with the car himself.
"I thought if the car was off the property, that would be then off the property, out of the way."
Hooper told the jury: "I felt threatened and an Englishman's home is his castle, and my castle starts at that front gate."
Michael Rawlinson, who was defending, asked the farmer why he did not call the police.
Hooper argued that there had been eight break-ins at the farm over the years and the police would take hours to arrive.
The trial is ongoing.
Featured Image Credit: Snapchat
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