Humberside

Yorkshire farmer, 83, claims shooting was 'self-defence'

Kenneth Hugill Image copyright RICHARD DEAN
Image caption Kenneth Hugill told the court he had not intended to hurt anyone when he fired at the car

An 83-year-old farmer shot a man because he was "petrified" he was about to be run over by a car, a court heard.

Kenneth Hugill, of Mill House Farm, Wilberfoss, near York, denies inflicting grievous bodily harm on Richard Stables.

Hull Crown Court heard he shot Mr Stables, 44, on 13 November 2015 with a double-barrel shotgun.

Mr Stables, a convicted burglar, said he had stumbled on to the farm and denied plans to steal diesel.

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Mr Hugill said he had gone to bed with his wife at around 21:00 GMT, but was woken by a light at the window at around 02:00.

"The next thing was a slight silhouette of a vehicle going past the farmyard entrance," he said.

"The vehicle did not have its lights on. I thought it was up to no good."

Image copyright RICHARD DEAN
Image caption Mr Hugill said he and his wife had been woken by a light outside their farmhouse

He said he got dressed and took out his gun along with two cartridges and went into the yard.

'Reckless'

"I walked across what I thought was the front of a vehicle,

"It revved up loudly and drove towards me. It petrified me. I did not see any people. I heard nothing at all.

"I fired a shot down the side of the vehicle, near to the floor in to the ground to stop it coming at me.

"I did not want to hit anybody. I just wanted to frighten them away."

Image copyright RICHARD DEAN
Image caption Mr Stables, who was shot in the foot, has denied plans to steal diesel from the farm

Prosecuting, Chris Dunn told Mr Hugill: "The prosecution does not suggest you intended to cause serious harm.

"We say you were at least reckless when you discharged the gun?"

Mr Hugill said he did not agree as he had so little time.

The court had already heard that Mr Stables, from Bradford, was out lamping with a dog and a friend.

He said he was trying to put the dog back in the vehicle when he was shot in the foot without warning.

Mr Stables' driver Adrian Barron, who also has convictions for burglary, also denied planning to steal diesel.

The trial continues.

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