Farmer cleared over trail rider’s death on his land

Published: 02 March 2012

A farmer who chased trail riders in a Land Rover which crushed one of them to death has been cleared of manslaughter.

Timothy Wolfe, 63, pursued five riders who had accidentally strayed from green lanes onto his property in October 2010.

As the group, on road-legal KTM’s, turned on to a narrow track to escape, the car collided with the last rider, who in turn collided with the one in front, 48-year-old Gary Greaves. The car then rolled onto its side, crushing Greaves, a building site manager from Arundel, West Sussex.

A post mortem found the married father-of-one had a lung condition which had been a factor in his death.

Wolfe told the jury during his six day trial that he had had problems before with bikes on his farm near Petersfield, Hampshire, and had been “annoyed” when he chased the group to give them “a good b********g”. But he said he had not intended to harm any of them.

The jury unanimously acquitted him of manslaughter in less than two hours. Winchester Crown Court also found him not guilty of causing actual bodily harm to the first rider struck, Andrew Kirkpatrick.

Simon Frost, 48, the lead rider in the group, said: “Gary was a very nice, gentle person who has been let down.”