Elderly farmer shot burglar in the foot over suspected diesel theft, court hears
A farmer claims he shot a convicted burglar in the foot outside his farmhouse at night by accident over fears he was about to be run over, a court has heard.
Father-of-three Kenneth Hugill, 83, used a double-barrel shotgun to shoot Richard Stables, 44, as he walked out to challenge him in pitch darkness outside his isolated farmhouse in Wilberfoss, near York.
Mr Stables, of Bradford, who had been out lamping with a lurcher dog told a jury at Hull Crown Court he and a friend had stumbled on the farm when he was shot in the foot without warning.
Mr Hugill said he had gone to bed at 9pm with wife Sheila,78, to be alerted by a light on the window curtain around 2am.
He said: "I thought initially it was someone with a flash light. It was black. The next thing was a slight silhouette of a vehicle going past the farmyard entrance. The vehicle did not have its lights on. I thought it was up to no good.
"I got up. Got dressed, came down stairs, put my boot and cap on opened the gun cabinet, took out two cartridges and went out to investigate what was in the yard."
He said he walked across his yard and saw the vehicle outside his farm building.
"It revved up loudly and drove towards me. It petrified me. I thought it was coming at me," he said.