Car-flip farmer cleared of dangerous driving and criminal damage – ‘An Englishman’s Home Is His Castle’
A farmer who used a telehandler to pick up a car and dump it in a road to defend his property has been cleared of dangerous driving and criminal damage.
Robert Hooper, 57, had told Durham Crown Court he felt “frightened and threatened” when he took the action.
Mr Hooper had told the court he was punched by Mr Burns, a 21 year-old man who had drunk up to seven bottles of lager, when he first politely asked the men to leave as they were blocking access to his property.
The court heard that the farmer felt he was defending his property and himself.
“I felt threatened and an Englishman’s home is his castle, and my castle starts at that front gate,” he said
Michael Rawlinson, defending, gave the origin of the saying in his closing speech to the jury, referring back to the judge Sir Edward Coke’s comments which set legal precedents in 1604.
When it was argued by the prosecution that Mr Hooper had acted “utterly irrationally”, Mr Rawlinson also quoted the boxer Mike Tyson, saying: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
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