22 December, 2017

Self-defence in the News - No. 110

Nelson man fights off home intruder


December 22, 2017

A Nelson man who woke up to find an intruder in his house wrestled with the man who was threatening to stab him.

"I'm very grateful my partner and the kids weren't there and they never had to see anything," said the resident, who declined to be named. "I'm a big boy; I can handle myself but ... the kids."

The resident said he was woken about 2.30am on Tuesday to a noise in his home at the Wood. He got up to investigate and saw a glow like torchlight coming from his spare room. The resident went in to find a man in the room.

"I told him to get the f... out of my house."

The pair started to exchange blows, the resident said.

"He said: 'I'll stab you, I'll stab you."

The resident said he saw no knife at the time and the fight continued.

During the tussle, the man fell back and smashed his arm through a window.

Cut and bleeding, the man continued to fight, the resident said.

"I said: 'We can keep doing this or you can get out of my house'."

The man chose the latter option and left via the front door "squirting blood down the hallway", the resident said.

Police were called and arrived quickly, blocking off the area. A dog unit followed a trail.

The resident said police officers went back into the spare room with him and together and they found a knife that the resident believed belonged to the man.

"They were exceptionally good," the resident said of police officers involved.

The resident said he believed the man had also been in two of three vehicles on his property but he did not think anything had been taken from the vehicles or the house.

"It was brazen," the resident said of the incident. "He had to know someone was in there."

About 1½ hours after police were called, the resident was told a man had been arrested.

The resident said he understood the alleged offender had been granted bail.

"I'm frustrated with this," the resident said. "At the end of the day, these guys shouldn't be at large. He had a knife in my house. I should be able to sleep in my own bed without harm."

Senior Sergeant Lyn Fleming confirmed a 19-year-old man had been arrested and charged with aggravated burglary.

She said he had been remanded on bail to an address outside of the Nelson area, and would be back in court in late January.

Police also confirmed the man arrested was treated for cuts at Nelson Hospital.

19 December, 2017

Kung fu training day and club dinner

Shereen and Kevin
(That's Rodney, Pete, and Brent in the background.)
16 Dec 2017
Photographer: Anthony

Rodney and Red
16 Dec 2017
Photographer: Anthony

Anthony and Kevin
16 Dec 2017
Photographer: Rachel

More photographs to come as I get hold of them...

26 November, 2017

Self-defence in the News - No. 109

Australian gas station owner fights off armed robber

November 26, 2017

An Australian service station owner has exacted sweet revenge on a would-be robber armed with a machete, 7 News reports.

Ratan Raju, whose service station is outside the town of Caboolture in rural Queensland, grabbed the nearest thing to hand to protect himself when he was confronted by the armed man: a lolly tin.

CCTV footage shows the man approaching Raju, waving his machete around and demanding cash. Raju grabs a large tin of Milkos from behind the counter and hurls it at his assailant's head, sending him running for the door.

Raju then follows the would-be robber outside, arming himself with a tube of Pringles and a pot of honey on the way.

"I whacked him on his head and then he ran further so I ran closer to the garbage bin and I gave it to him on his back," Raju told 7 News.

"He was coming back with a knife, so I got [a] chair and I said 'come on, bring it on'."

It's not the first time the Australian Navy veteran has taken on a robber: the last person whe demanded cash from his till got knocked out cold. 

During the latest drama, Raju's wife and children were in the room behind the store.

"I work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, no one is just going to come in and grab my sweat and my blood off me," he said.

And if the robber returns? Raju has a clear message: "He'll be sleeping on that ground, I swear."

23 November, 2017

Self-defence in the News - No. 108

Off-duty cop carrying baby shoots dead two robbers

November 23, 2017

An off-duty Brazilian police officer had a baby under one arm when he pulled his gun and engaged in a shoot out with two robbers, leaving the raiders dead.

The gun battle took place in a pharmacy and part of it was captured on surveillance footage.

Souza opened fire when one of the robbers, wearing 
a masked hoodie, pointed a gun at him.

At one point the officer is seen handing the baby to his wife, who had taken cover behind one of the store's aisles.

Brazilian newspaper Estadao reported Sao Paulo police sergeant Rafael Souza, his wife and the infant, were shopping in the city of Campo Limpo Paulista on Saturday.

Two men stormed the shop and announced they were robbing the place.

One of the robbers, wearing a masked hoodie pointed a gun at Souza. At that point Souza pulled his gun and the shootout started.

Souza told investigators he fired first because he believed the robbers would have opened fire if he told them he was a police officer.

05 November, 2017

Brendan and Shereen

28 Oct 2017

01 November, 2017

The greatest fist-fighter who ever lived

Anthony and Fitz

Date: 21 Oct 2017
Photographer: Rachel

Statue of Bob Fitzsimmons
Sculptor: Margriet Windhausen van den Bergh
Commissioned by Bob Jones
Unveiled 1987 by David Lange
Location: Timaru (Bob Fitzsimmons' hometown),
New Zealand

10 October, 2017

Visiting my fellow kung-fu instructor in Southland...

Anthony (left) and Ben
6 Oct 2017 
Photographer: Skye

Ben outside his kwoon
6 Oct 2017

08 July, 2017

Senior kung-fu men

Brendan and Rodney
- Saturday training -

27 June, 2017

Self-defence in the News - No. 107

Dairy owners fight off axe-wielding robbers


June 27, 2017

When tomahawk wielding robbers stormed Ram Sharma's dairy, the father of one had two instinctive thoughts.

Fight back or step back.

So the Hamilton man, and his parents, took on the thieves using a bottle of soy sauce and canned goods to thwart the pair's violent attempt to grab cigarettes.

"Once they come in you can't think what to do. It's only 45 seconds - you can try to protect yourself or you try to stop them."

Police are now appealing to the public to help track down the pair who attempted to rob the dairy on Aberdeen Dr and Courtney Ave on Sunday evening.

Around 6pm Sharma was working the counter when the two men wearing black balaclavas rushed into the store.

They approached the counter with their tomahawks raised and demanded cigarettes.

"I was standing out the back in the storage area having a chat with my parents while they were doing some stuff when two guys came in with the axe.

As the pair approached, Sharma yelled "hey, don't touch".

"I said - 'don't hurt us, take what you want'."

"But he still kept coming towards me."

Sharma put his hands in the air, repeatedly telling the culprits to take what they wanted.

"He said to the other guy - get the smokes."

But before the thieves made it to the cigarette cabinet, Sharma grabbed one of the men's axe.

"Then he started struggling with me. Meanwhile my dad was pushing him outwards while mum tried to hit him."

Sharma's 53-year-old mother turned to the other robber, pulling on the man's mask as he advanced towards the struggling trio.

"I think he lost his shoe, which we didn't realise until later."

A metre or two away Sharma and the thief grappled with the axe.

"Then he started trying to release the axe that I'm holding very tightly."

"Then he just took it, tried to hit me again but luckily I had a soy sauce bottle next to me."

After the soy sauce, Sharma began hurling cans.

"We tried to chase them out but it's too dark outside, there's no street lights and you can't see if they are hiding, and it's not safe to chase them."

At the same time the culprits entered the store Sharma believes a customer pulled up outside with a baby in the back of her car.

Too afraid to enter the woman stayed in the vehicle and called police.

"Once we came back we found one left his shoe behind. We hope the cops can find something."

He described one man as being about 5ft 10, of heavy build and darker skin. The other was shorter about 5ft 4 and skinny with white skin.

Sharma was taken to hospital on the night with a gash to his finger and rapid heart rate.

In the six years the family have owned the store this is the first serious robbery they have experienced.

"It does make you think about safety, everyone is concerned about each other.

"The mental stress is the main thing, it creates fear and makes you think whether it was safe to run the shop."

Sharma was thankful his wife and nine-month-old baby were away overseas at the time.

"We just thank god we are safe."

Waikato police Detective Sergeant Nicola Cornes said the pair fled empty handed.

"This type of threatening behaviour is not something the community should tolerate.

"Police are investigating and are appealing to the public for assistance."

Anyone who recognises people in the images, or witnessed any suspicious activity around the superette on Sunday, is asked to contact Hamilton police station on 07 858 6200.

Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

11 June, 2017

Warrior poet

Senior kung-fu man Brent at his house, 
waxing lyrical about Ving Chun Kuen, 
among other things..

Photographer: Anthony
Date: 11 June, 2017

05 June, 2017

Self-defence in the News - No. 106

London attacks: Man fights back against terrorists

5 June 2017

Eyewitness Gerard Vowls came face to face with the London Bridge terrorists after leaving his friends at the pub and bravely confronted the group to try and stop them.

Gerard Vowles told Sky in the UK he shouted at the terrorists and threw tables and chairs at them in the hope they'd follow him and stop stabbing others.

When three men armed with a van and knives went on the attack in a bustling area of the British capital on Saturday night [Sunday NZ Time], Londoners fought back with whatever came to hand, in some cases hurling chairs and tables to ward them off.

The attack, in which the assailants killed at least seven people and injured almost 50 before they were shot dead by police, began with a van being driven at high speed into a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge.

"It looked like he was aiming for groups of people," Mark Roberts, a 53-year-old management consultant, said He saw at least six people on the ground after the van veered on and off the pavement.

"It was horrendous."

Then the knife-wielding assailants took their attack to the nearby Borough Market, where survivors described a hellish scene in an area packed with people enjoying a night out in bars and restaurants.

Gerard Vowles told Sky TV he was on the street near the Southwark Tavern pub, the scene of multiple stabbings, when he heard someone say: "I've been stabbed, I've been stabbed".

"I thought they were joking," he said.

He said he then saw a woman and man being stabbed while the attackers shouted: "This is for Allah", and recalled how he tried to distract the men.

"As they left I was going 'Oi, oi, cowards!'" Vowles said. "I was just trying to get their attention by throwing things at them ... I thought if I throw bottles or chairs they can come after me. If I can get them to come to the main road then the police can stop them, they can obviously shoot them."

Other witnesses reported seeing a man with a large blade, similar to a kitchen knife, and victims bleeding from stab wounds. They said people were fleeing the area in panic.

One witness, who only gave the BBC his first name of Ben, said he saw a man dressed in red who was stabbing a man with a blade that appeared to be about 10 inches long.

"He was being stabbed quite coldly and he slumped to the ground," he said of the victim. The attacker then walked towards Southwark Tavern where a chair was thrown towards him, shortly before gunshots rang out.

- Reuters

Self-defence in the News - No. 105

Shop staff wield cricket bat at shoplifter

Last updated 11:27, June 1 2017

A Hamilton greengrocer says he refuses to give in to shoplifters after his staff fended off a would-be thief with a cricket bat.

After the thief left, the next day the greengrocer said he received a threatening call from the man's relative.

A brawl broke out outside Harjit Singh's Vege King, Fairfield store on Tuesday after a man was asked to return stolen corned beef.

The man became violent, Singh said, punching his staff who resorted to returning blows with a cricket bat.

"He bloody steal stuff you know, and then he hit my staff. We don't want to hit anyone. We want to stop them you know."

A staff member suspected the man was pocketing cheese. He then alerted other staff when she saw him nab the corned beef.

He pushed her, and walked from the store. Outside, another Vege King staff member asked him to return the goods.

The man, "pretending to be like a boxer", threw a punch at his face, Singh said.

"After that, what can we do? Then we hit him too."

More workers, and the cricket bat, came from the back of the store to assist.

The end of the brawl was captured by a passer-by, who posted the footage on Facebook.

After a swipe at his head, the man walks away from the store - without the food, Singh said.

But the saga continued. On Wednesday, Singh said he received a threatening phone call from the young man's uncle.

"He said, 'oh, I want to fight with you'. I said, 'Okay, one on one? I'm ready ... you tell me the place.'"

The uncle's tone then changed and an apology was offered, he said.

Singh was growing frustrated with both shoplifters and police response.

"They came here and they pretended like nothing happened here."

A police spokesperson said the man had already left the scene when officers arrived. Police spoke to witnesses and enquiries are ongoing.

It was fortunate Vege King had a lot of staff during situations like this, he said.

"I feel sorry for the other people they're targeting. Last week, the Super Liquor … it's really, really bad you know."

Two doors down Heaphy Tce, Super Liquor faced a similar problem on Friday night.

A young man, masked with a red bandanna, entered the store and threw an empty backpack in front of manager Dev Bhardwaj.

He drew a long, single barrel weapon from his puffer jacket.

"It's bloody scary man, I had three customers in the shop," Bhardwaj said.

After 6pm, he is the sole shopkeeper in the small village shopping centre. Police responded in 10 minutes, he said.

It was the first time in six years he's faced a firearm, he said, but aggressive armed robberies aren't uncommon.

Three weeks ago, three young men entered the store and threatened him with a knife.

"We are basically in a dilemma, what can we do?"

21 May, 2017

Self-defence in the News - No. 104

Indian woman cuts off alleged rapist's genitals

Last updated 02:21, May 21 2017

A 24-year-old woman in southern India has cut off the genitals of a Hindu holy man who tried to rape her and who she alleged has been sexually assaulting her for the past eight years, police say.

G. Sparjan Kumar, a police officer in Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala state capital, said the woman fled her home after the incident on Friday night [Saturday NZ Time] and called police.

The alleged attacker, 54-year-old Gangeshananda Theerthapada, who claims to be a spiritual healer, was reported to be in stable condition after reconstructive surgery.

Pinarayi Vijayan, the state's chief minister, said it was brave of the woman to take such action.

"It's a courageous and strong act by the woman," he said.

The New Delhi Television news channel said the woman's family knew Theerthapada, who used to visit their home to cure her bed-ridden father. She told police that he would rape her whenever he got an opportunity.

When he again visited her home on Friday night and tried to force himself on her, she got hold of a knife and attacked him, Kumar said.

Violent crimes against women have been on the rise in India despite tough laws enacted by the government.


03 May, 2017

Self-defence in the News - No. 103

Christchurch dairy attendant swings bat at robbers

Last updated 20:21, April 30 2017

Sujan Burra was robbed the day he took ownership of his Christchurch dairy.

The Woolston Discounter, on Ferry Rd, has been held up almost every month since.

After a knife-wielding robber in a skull mask stole cash earlier this month, Burra put a baseball bat under the counter and a lock on a gate at the end of the counter.

So when two offenders came in on Saturday night - the sixth robbery since September - he was prepared.

It started with a man wandering around the store and asking about the price of products about 7.20pm.

He "seemed like a regular customer", Burra said, until a second person, disguised in a dark sweatshirt, hat and mask, walked in.

The man tried to barge through the gate, which separates employees from the store. The lock kept him out.

Burra grabbed the bat. He swung it at the masked man.

Both men took off on bicycles with a handful of snacks.

The Discounter is about 200 metres from the Woolston Night 'n Day, which has been held-up nine times in eight months. That dairy set up a "safe room" at the back of the store, where attendants can lock themselves inside and call for help.

In Auckland, fed-up dairy owners marched on Sunday, calling on the Government for harsher penalties for thieves after a string of robberies left many scared to return to their stores.

Burra was stumped on how to stop thieves targeting the stores. Usually, they went after cash from the till or cigarettes.

"We can't close the business at 6pm, maybe there needs to be another CCTV camera installed outside to watch where they go. By the time the police arrive five minutes later, they're gone."

"We're an easy target, there's usually only one man on the till."

Though Saturday's incident was no great monetary loss, each theft made it harder to keep the business open, Burra said.

Detective Inspector Darryl Sweeney said police gave retailers advice and support on how to improve security and make their shops less attractive to thieves.

"All violent offences are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly to determine whether there may be any emerging patterns."

Anyone who found themselves in a robbery should comply with the offender's demands, Sweeney said.

"The risks just aren't worth it."

A police spokeswoman said an investigation into the Saturday night robbery was under way.


15 April, 2017


Training as usual over Easter:

Saturday 1.30-3.30pm

Easter Monday 7.00-9.00pm

09 April, 2017


Saturday training... with a visit from Southland VCK kung fu man, Lyndsay.

Left to right: Brendan, Pete, Lyndsay, and Anthony

Photographer: Shereen
Date: 8 April, 2017

25 March, 2017

Kung fu girls

Shereen and Moo

Photographer: Anthony
Date: 25-Mar-2017

Self-defence in the News - No. 102

Shopkeeper fights three robbers

Friday, 24 March 2017

By Sam Hurley

Shocking video footage of an Auckland shopkeeper desperately trying to fend off a violent robbery is the latest incident in a spate of brutal attacks.

The violence has grown to such a level that a petition will be submitted to Parliament calling for a review of the effectiveness of current police policies and strategy, Stop Crime NZ crime prevention group founder Sunny Kaushal told the Herald.

 Video of Wednesday night's Otahuhu liquor shop robbery shows three men enter the store about 7.45pm.

One of the offenders jumps across the counter and begins to attack the shopkeeper with a pole.

After the offender drops the pole, the shopkeeper uses it in an attempt to ward off his attackers.

However, the offender returns and wrestles the shopkeeper to the ground before repeatedly punching him. 

A police spokeswoman said there had been no arrests following the robbery, but police are continuing to investigate.

Kaushal said the shopkeeper was lucky to suffer only minor injuries, but said the violent upswing in robberies has forced shop owners to call for a government review.

Last night, a second Stop Crime NZ meeting was held, following an initial meeting after a brutal robbery at a Mt Roskill dairy last week.

"Our concern is the continuing robberies and brutal attacks on shop owners and small businesses in public places," Kaushal said.

"Our concern is the safety of residents, which is a fundamental right. Our concern is, the law-and-order situation appears out of control."

He said six shops in Auckland have been robbed during the past 10 days, including the Crown Superette in Mt Roskill where a group of seven offenders attacked and seriously injured the dairy owner and his wife.

 The dairy owner is still in hospital with a badly damaged arm and has already undergone four surgeries, Kaushal said.

Police charged two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14, with aggravated robbery following the incident.

Small business owners said "we constantly live in fear" while giving feedback at last night's meeting.

"Brutal Attacks in broad daylight in public places, shows the offenders have no fear of being caught," Kaushal added.

Along with the petition, a community protest march is being planned for next month.

14 March, 2017

Self-defence in the News - No. 101

Porirua residents fight off man attempting to abduct 3-year-old girl


March 14, 2017

A father has told how he fought with a man who tried to abduct his 3-year-old daughter, before neighbours joined in to subdue the attacker.

The father was walking home with the girl in Exploration Way, in the Porirua suburb of Whitby, when a "suspicious-looking" man started to follow them, "breathing heavily and muttering swear words".

"I told him to back off, when all of sudden he lunged at me," the father said.

"I scooped up my daughter and ran into the road and started waving and yelling for a car to stop.

"He chased me and grabbed hold of me while I had my daughter in my arms.

"I yelled for help, and at him to leave us alone. All I could think of was trying to protect my daughter.

"I pushed her away from me and told her to run away. Of course she's only 3, so she tried to run back towards me."

Neighbour Jo Alderdice heard the swearing and yelling, about 3pm on Monday, and came to intervene.

"I instantly knew one of them was trying to snatch her, so my first thought was just to get the girl," she said.

"As I ran towards them, I thought I would just slam myself into them to get her free, but when I got to them the girl had dropped to the ground.

"I grabbed her and ran into my house and locked the doors, screaming for someone to call the police.

"Once I was inside, the man started trying to break my front door down."

The father said that, when they first saw the man, "he was shuffling and swaying a little bit, and not engaging".

"He was following about a foot behind us. I could hear him breathing heavily and muttering swear words.

"I stopped to see if he would walk past but he didn't, so my first thought was to get on to the street away from him and in a public view."

He suspected the man might be a resident of a nearby home for people with mental health problems.

"I hoped once we walked past [the house] he would just go inside, but as we got to the house he beckoned my daughter to come inside."

After Alderdice's interventions, the father and another neighbour continued to wrestle with the man, who pushed a neighbour through the fence to get to Alderdice's door.

"He was determined to get in the house, and if we weren't there we would have forced his way in, I'm sure of it," the father said.

"We managed to hold him down while he spouted off random stuff about the KKK and the devil, crazy babble."

Police have confirmed a 32-year-old man has been arrested for abduction and assault. A court date has yet to be set.

Mental health services provider Pathways Health said on Monday night that the man in custody had been placed in its care "by the clinical team at Capital & Coast DHB, and was in the process of being admitted when the incident occurred".

"We are deeply shocked and distressed by this incident," chief executive Sally Pitts-Brown said. "Our main focus at this point is on supporting the wellbeing of all of the people involved, in any way we can.

"Our Pathways service is not a secure environment. We provide supported home-like environments where people can have a short break when they need to rest and focus completely on their wellbeing.

"We are working with the police as they carry out their investigations. We are also supporting our staff and people who use our services that have been affected by this situation."

The father said: "My daughter is doing all right. She is only 3, so doesn't fully understand what's happened.

"I've been shaking for a good few hours, but I am so grateful to our neighbours. They were just amazing, and instinctively protective.

"If they hadn't been there, it would have been a different story."

Police said the man was in mental health care on Tuesday morning but charges would be coming.

Self-defence in the News - No. 100

Female jogger fights off brutal sex attacker

13 March 2017

A Seattle jogger was left bloodied, bruised - and triumphant - after using self-defence tactics to fend off a bathroom attacker.

Kelly Herron scratched, kicked and screamed at alleged assailant Gary Steiner, 40, at a Golden Gardens Park restroom on Sunday afternoon, according to the Daily Mail.

The 36-year-old was training for a marathon and had stopped to use the bathroom when she felt Steiner, a registered sex offender, sneak up behind her. At that point, according to police, he assaulted her.

Herron said she began to fight back, yelling out "not today m***** f*****". Eventually she managed to escape from Steiner's grasp and trapped the homeless man in the restroom until police arrived.

The jogger shared a photo on Instagram of injuries from her "biggest running nightmare" but credited her safety to a self-defence class she took three weeks earlier.

She said, "My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact."

"I fought for my life screaming, clawing his face, punching back, and desperately trying to escape his grip - never giving up. I was able to lock him in the bathroom until police arrived.

"Thankfully I just took a self-defence class offered at my work and utilised all of it."

She added to Kiro 7, "I'm really grateful I survived. I was screaming at him... being loud and not afraid. I mean you are afraid, but you're letting him know 'you are not taking me down today. You are not going to win this fight'.

"That was the only thing that was motivating me ... I cannot be raped by this guy in this place."

Steiner was taken by police shortly after Herron escaped and was helped by a witness who heard her screams and called officials.

She told police "she felt like she was going to be raped" and Steiner was charged on Wednesday with attempted second-degree rape and second-degree assault with sexual motivation, according to The Seattle Times.

Police said Steiner confessed that while he was waiting in the bathroom, two other women entered the space but he didn't attack them.

But when Herron was drying her hands, he worked up the nerve to approach her, knock her down and repeatedly punch her in the face in an attempted rape, according to police.

The charging documents state that Steiner told police that he wanted them to kill them and an officer wrote, "The defendant represents a severe danger to the community.

"His predatory attack on a female in the middle of the day represents a brazen willingness to assault without concern for getting caught."

The paper reported that the man was convicted in Arizona for sexually assaulting several women in 1999, indecent exposure in 2008 and convicted of criminal mischief with a deadly weapon in Clark County, Washington, in 2015.

11 March, 2017

Self-defence in the News - No. 99

Farmer who shot burglar is cleared by jury

11 March 2017

A farmer who shot a convicted burglar he thought was stealing diesel from his farm cried outside court today after a jury took just 24 minutes to clear him of GBH.

Father-of-three Kenneth Hugill, 83, who had two hip replacements and a heart-bypass operation, was arrested, finger printed and forced to fund his own £30,000 defence after he shot Richard Stables, 44, in the foot outside his isolated farmhouse at Wilberfoss, near York.

Mr Hugill shook the hand of his solicitor and wept outside court briefly after a jury at Hull Crown Court cleared him of causing grievous bodily harm.

Today his family revealed that following the incident their home was surrounded by armed police and a helicopter who believed they were holding a hostage more than 15 hours after the shooting.

The family criticised both the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for their decision to prosecute an 83-year-old man defending his home.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Hugill said: 'I'm very, very pleased. It's marvellous.

'We thought I shouldn't have been prosecuted right from the start, I didn't feel it was justified at the time.

'I pulled the trigger because I thought that car was going to kill me.'

Mr Hugill told the court yesterday that he was 'petrified' when the Land Rover 'revved up' without lights on and set off towards him.

He fired two shots - one towards the side of the vehicle and another in the air to frighten the occupants away.

Richard Stables, a convicted burglar, was hit in the foot and driven straight to hospital by his friend Adrian Barron, a seasoned criminal with convictions for burglary and violence.

Mr Stables suffered serious injuries but survived and gave evidence as a prosecution witness.

The terrified farmer, who walks with a crutch and has never previously been in trouble with the law, ended up being charged with grievous bodily harm and put on trial at Hull Crown Court.

Humberside Police currently are in possession of his gun and it is unclear if he will get it back.

Concerning his licence, Judge David Tremberg told the court that it was up to the chief constable to look at the 'renewal' of Mr Hugill's licence.

It is not known if Mr Hugill's licence will be taken away from him.

Yesterday he hobbled to the witness box to recall the early hours of November 13, 2015.

He was asleep with wife Sheila, 78, at the family farm in Wilberfoss, East Yorkshire, where he has lived and worked for almost his entire life, when he noticed a light outside as he returned from the bathroom at around 2am.

'I saw it appear again and thought it was somebody with a flashlight, but it was so black dark I couldn't see anything,' he said.

'The next thing I saw was the silhouette of a vehicle going past the farmhouse. I thought it was creeping up slowly with no noise and no lights on and thought it was up to no good.'

Hugill spoke to his wife, got dressed, put on his hat and went downstairs in the dark. He told police they didn't get electricity until 1954 so he could find his way around without lights.

He went into the yard after taking the shotgun - given to him as a 21st birthday present by his parents - and loading it with two cartridges.

'I walked towards where I thought the vehicle was,' he said. 'I still couldn't see anything really.'

The farmer said he was startled by the sound of the Land Rover's engine and had little time to react.

'I stood still and practically immediately heard the engine, very, very loud. I was petrified for a second or two and thought it was coming at me,' he said.

'I fired the shotgun to the side of the vehicle towards the floor. The lights of the vehicle were off. I didn't want to hit anybody, just frighten them away.'

Hugill said the closest he got to the car was 12 to 15ft and he never saw anyone in it.

A second shot was fired 'straight up' as the car drove away to deter the occupants from returning, the court heard.

Once back inside the farmhouse he phoned his son who lives nearby, and the son called police, although they did not come out that night.

The court heard the men may have been on the site to steal diesel from tanks near the farmhouse and a lock had been 'tampered with'.

Christopher Dunn, prosecuting, told the jury the issue was 'whether it was reasonable for Mr Hugill to act in the way he did'.

He said the Crown's case was that the farmer fired the gun 'recklessly' and 'without shouting' or calling the police first.

Asked under cross-examination if it was 'a bit much' to take a shotgun outside to investigate, Hugill replied: 'I didn't know who was out there, it was only for protection.'

Yesterday Stables, who uses a wheelchair to get about because of his injuries, claimed to be 'lamping' - hunting for rabbits by torchlight - with a friend and his dog on the night of the incident.

He said they were lost on a country road and pulled up near the defendant's farmhouse to clean up a mess the lurcher dog had made inside their Land Rover.

Mr Stables, 44, told the court he may have pointed the 'lamp' at the farmhouse window by accident but had no idea diesel tanks were nearby.

He told the jury he was putting the dog back into the car when he was shot in the foot without warning.

'As I went to shut the door I saw a figure appear. No words were spoken. Whoever was stood there fired a gun that hit my foot,' he said.

'I felt excruciating pain. I thought my foot had gone. The shot went all the way through my foot taking all the bones with it.'

'I thought my foot was not there. I can't remember much after, except we set off driving. I heard another shot. It may have been straight away afterwards. There were definitely two shots. One hit me in the foot. I was bleeding quite lot.'

Mr Stables said he used a rope for a tourniquet and went to York Hospital's accident and emergency unit, where he was dropped off by his friend Barron, 40.

The injured man gave three different versions of how he suffered his shotgun injuries before eventually admitting a farmer shot him.

The court heard Mr Stables had a criminal history with convictions for burglary, theft and possession of an offensive weapon.

He was also on a police intelligence list as a person active in rural crime after an incident in the Yorkshire Dales where an officer threatened him with CS spray.

The defence claimed Stables and Barron were there to steal diesel not hunt for rabbits.

Roderick Hunt, defending, told Stables: 'You just made it up. It is the dog defence that burglars have when they are stopped by the police.'

Chief Crown Prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside Gerry Wareham said today: 'We considered all the evidence in this case extremely carefully, and took full account of the situation Mr Hugill found himself in that evening.

'We are satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to put the matter before a court and that it was in the public interest to do so. The jury has now returned their verdict and we respect their decision.'