Hampshire Farmer Cleared Over Biker Death
A farmer's been found not guilty of killing an off-road motorcyclist with whom he collided as he pursued him on his land.
Timothy Wolfe, 63, showed no emotion as the jury at Winchester Crown Court unanimously acquitted him in less than two hours of the manslaughter of Gary Greaves on his Hampshire farm in October 2010.
Wolfe had told the jury during the six-day trial he was ''annoyed'' when he chased after the group of five riders he saw cross his field and he carried on after them to give them ''a good **********''.
He suddenly came upon the riders in his Land Rover Discovery as he went around the corner of a slippery track and he collided in a ''glancing blow'' with father-of-one Mr Greaves, 48.
His vehicle then toppled over, pinning the builder from Arundel, West Sussex under it and he died.
Giving evidence, married 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 has run an arable and cattle farm for more than 40 years near Petersfield and told the jury he had suffered from 10 years' trouble from bikers and he had never caught one and the police did nothing to help.
''My intention was get them off my ground ... and with the idea of giving them a good **********,'' Wolfe told the jury.
He said his driving was not irresponsible and it was appropriate.
Wolfe, from Sunwood Farm, Ditcham, near Petersfield 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.
They had gone across the field of stubble owned by Wolfe to try to find another route, but it was blocked and so the men went back.
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, but the jury did not agree.
The other riders managed to push the Discovery off Mr Greaves but despite attempts to save him he died.
Mr Greaves had a lung condition that had made being pinned under the vehicle much worse and it had been a factor in his death, a post-mortem examination found.
Mr Wolfe made no comment as he left court.