Robert Hooper, 57, lifted the car into the air utilizing his forklift tractor as Charlie Burns allegedly tried to hit him, Durham Crown Court docket heard

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Durham: Farmer makes use of forklift tractor to flip automotive

A farmer who used a forklift tractor to flip a automotive parked on his drive was appearing in lawful self defence, a court docket heard at this time.

Robert Hooper, 57, drove on the car, lifted it up within the air and flipped it onto its roof earlier than pushing it right into a highway in an incident which was captured on video.

Though the video clip, shot by the car’s driver, clearly reveals Hooper’s telehandler tractor leaving the automotive a smashed wreck, he denied harmful driving and prison injury of the Vauxhall Astra.

Durham Crown Court docket heard he was underneath assault on the time of the incident from Charlie Burns, a good friend of the motive force Elliott Johnson, who was kicking the tractor and attempting to punch him within the cab.

In his anxiousness to flee the assault, it’s alleged, Hooper swung the tractor spherical rapidly and struck Mr Burns, knocking him to the bottom.

David Ward, prosecuting, mentioned the incident befell at 5.30pm on June 6 final 12 months after Mr Burns and Mr Johnson had spent a day swimming at Low Drive close to Barnard Citadel, Co Durham.

Farmer Robert Hooper pictured arriving at Durham Crown court docket at this time


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On their means dwelling they handed by Hooper’s Brockersgill Farm at Newbiggin-in-Teesdale, the place Mr Johnson’s Astra – a courtesy automotive
belonging to Vauxhall Finance – suffered a double puncture.

Mr Ward mentioned: “With just one spare wheel they have been unable to repair the issue.

“They determined to maneuver the automotive into the farm driveway off the B6277 that handed the farm as a result of it appeared the most secure factor to do.

“It was an extended driveway with an open subject to 1 aspect, which they thought was the most secure possibility.

“Nevertheless Mr Hooper drove in direction of them in certainly one of his automobiles and requested them to maneuver the automotive.

“They mentioned phrases to the impact that they’d not be lengthy and have been arranging a restoration car to maneuver the automotive.

“Mr Hooper mentioned he would transfer the automotive for them and went again to the farm and stuck loading tools onto the entrance of his tractor, in impact a forklift gadget.

“He drove again and positioned the lifting rails underneath the automotive and pushed the automotive alongside the driveway, already inflicting injury. Mr Burns filmed this on his cell phone.

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“Hooper started lifting the tip of the automotive as Mr Burns kicked the farm car to no avail.

“Hooper tipped the car onto its roof and pushed it out of the driveway, across the nook and onto the highway. It was scraped alongside the bottom struggling in depth injury.

“Mr Burns tried to hit Mr Hooper by the window of the tractor, seemingly attempting to distract him from additional damaging the car.”

At that time, Mr Ward mentioned, Hooper swung the telehandler spherical and struck Mr Burns on the again with the lifting gear, sending him sprawling.

The 57-year-old flipped the automotive over that had been parked on his driveway


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Mr Ward mentioned that Hooper was arrested and interviewed by the police.

He informed them he was attempting to push the automotive when it caught on the gate and flipped over.

Mr Ward mentioned: “He mentioned he was appearing lawfully and in self defence always. Mr Hooper is a person of excellent character with no earlier

Charlie Burns, 21, informed the court docket of his confrontation with Hooper.

He mentioned that he and Elliot Johnson moved the automotive onto the lengthy concrete driveway to the farm after a double puncture on the highway

As they awaited roadside help he mentioned Hooper approached and demanded they transfer the automotive.

Mr Burns informed Durham crown Court docket: “He went again to the home and put the spikes on the entrance of his tractor, it took not more than a minute then he got here again and began pushing the automotive

“I used to be kicking the tractor to attempt to distract him. I used to be sporting Nike trainers, I did not do any injury to it.

The weird incident occurred on Brockersgil Farm in County Durham


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“Aside from the flat tyres there was no injury to the automotive however when he began pushing it I think about there was injury being carried out.

“Then the automotive goes within the air, the again finish simply flipped over.

“It was pushed out, he pushed it out onto the highway. I began videoing it on my cellphone. The automotive was on its roof

“I reached my arm into his car and caught him on the tip of his chin with my finger, I used to be attempting to cease him doing extra injury to the automotive. I precipitated him no damage. I solely caught him as soon as.

“He hit me on the again with the tractor. He was trying proper at me, I wasn’t attempting to hit him at that time.

“He knocked me off my toes. I used to be injured, I’m nonetheless having physio now. I could not stroll correctly the
following day, I wanted assist to stroll.”

Hooper, of Brockersgill Farm, Newbiggin-in-Teesdale, pleaded not responsible to harmful driving and prison injury of the Vauxhall Astra.

The trial, anticipated to final the week, continues.

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