A man shot by a farmer who walked free from court claims that he will never be able to walk properly again.
Richard Stables, 44, suffered serious and lasting injuries to his foot when he was shot by Kenneth Hugill, 83, on his land in the middle of the night.
The elderly farmer – who had never been in trouble with the law before – was cleared by a court of causing grevious bodily harm after a jury took just 24 minutes to find him not guilty.
Mr Hugill told his trial at Hull Crown Court that he believed Mr Stables was part of a gang of burglars who were stealing diesel from his farm in Wilberfoss, near Pocklington in Yorkshire.
The Hull Daily Mail reports that he told the court he thought they were going to kill him.
Speaking for the first time since the court case, Mr Stables said: “The case was never about compensation.
“It has nothing to do with that. I am never going to be able to walk properly again.
“I have still got a hole in my toe that has not healed. It blasted all the bones away.
“I have 100 pellets in my foot and ankle. They cannot get them all out because the go everywhere.
“I am in constant pain and on medication.”
The court heard Mr Stables was taken to hospital in York after being shot, where he gave three different accounts of how his injuries had come about. He had a number of operations and remained in hospital for a month.
Mr Stables said that on the night of the shooting, he and his friend had driven their Land Rover Discovery onto the remote farm after getting lost on their way to Bridlington for a so-called “lamping” (late night rabbit hunting) trip.
Mr Hugill admitted firing his shotgun twice after seeing the men on his land in the early hours of November 13 2015.
However, Mr Stables said there was no reason for the farmer to have been afraid.
“I heard Mr Hugill say he was petrified,” he said.
“I don’t believe that. If he was so frightened he would not have come out the house.
“I don’t know why he didn’t just stay inside. Why didn’t he come out and say what are you doing here?
“I would have been happy to have waited for the police and explained I had lost the dog.
“If you get a loaded gun out of a cabinet and come outside with it. It is for one purpose.
“He never shouted. I never had a chance. It was bang! Bang!”
The court heard Mr Stables, a father of two, was a convicted burglar who was on a rural crime watch list.
But he said: “I was shocked when the police said I was on a rural crime list and had pictured of dead badgers on my Facebook.
“I don’t have picture like that. I don’t work now but I used to be a carer for my daughter who is registered blind.
“I am not a rural criminal.”
The Crown Prosecution Service said prosecutors believed there was “sufficient evidence” to charge Mr Hugill but they respect the jury’s decision.