Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire farmer cleared of killing off-road biker

A farmer whose Land Rover collided with an off-road motorcyclist he was chasing on his land has been cleared of his manslaughter.

Timothy Wolfe was cleared at Winchester Crown Court over the death of Gary Greaves, 48, of Arundel, West Sussex.

The 63-year-old had chased after a group of five riders he saw on his Hampshire farm in October 2010.

His Land Rover collided with Mr Greaves' motorbike and then toppled over, pinning the rider to the ground.

The other riders managed to push the vehicle off Mr Greaves but despite attempts to save him he died.

'Muddy and greasy'

He had a lung condition which had been a factor in his death, a post-mortem examination found.

The court heard the crash happened as Mr Wolfe turned the corner of a slippery track.

Giving evidence, Mr Wolfe said it was "definitely not" his intention to harm any of the motorcyclists and he just wanted to tell them off for being on his land without his permission.

The father-of-two, who has run an arable and cattle farm for more than 40 years near Petersfield, told the jury he had suffered from 10 years of trouble from bikers and the police had not stopped them.

He said his driving was not irresponsible and it was appropriate.

Mr Wolfe, from Sunwood Farm, Ditcham, near Petersfield, Hampshire, was also found not guilty of causing actual bodily harm to another rider, Andrew Kirkpatrick, by wanton and furious driving.

The motorcyclists, mainly from West Sussex, had been taking part in an activity called "green laning" but had become lost when the incident occurred.

The prosecution had alleged Wolfe drove "recklessly, irresponsibly and too close and too fast" to the bikers given the "muddy and greasy" conditions on the track.

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