TENSIONS boiled over when a car was parked on a County Durham farmer’s driveway due to a double puncture, a court was told today.

Farmer Robert Hooper approached and asked the driver to move it from the entrance to his property, Brockersgill Farm, at Newbiggin-in-Teesdale.

But the driver, who had use of the Vauxhall Corsa as a courtesy vehicle, told him he and his friend were arranging recovery and would not be long.

But Durham Crown Court heard this did not satisfy Mr Hooper, who said he would move it himself.

He went to his tractor and drove to the nearby farmhouse to attach lifting rails to the front.

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David Ward, prosecuting, said Mr Hooper then drove back towards the silver Corsa and began to forcibly push it back out of his drive way, all the time being filmed by the driver’s friend, standing alongside.

As the rails could not fully attach to the car it was pushed hanging partly on its roof and side, badly damaging the vehicle.

Although the driver’s friend tried to hit Mr Hooper through the tractor window and kick it to distract him from further damaging the Corsa, it flipped over onto its roof, on the road outside, the B6277.

The man filming the incident said he was struck a glancing blow on the lower back by one of the tractor rails.

He was knocked off his feet and suffered bruising.

Mr Hooper was then said to have driven back to the farmhouse.

Police were called and on arrival were given the film footage by the driver’s friend.

Mr Ward said Mr Hooper was arrested and told police his partner had earlier asked the driver to move the Corsa.

Mr Hooper told police they later returned and when he went to speak to them they were aggressive and assaulted him.

At this point he said he told them he would push the car out of his drive way himself, and attempted to push it out onto the road.

He claimed he feared for his safety throughout the incident, at about 5.30pm on a sunny late afternoon, on Saturday June 5, last year.

As the first witness, the Corsa driver’s friend, then gave evidence both the video shot by him and the driver were shown to the jury.

Asked about his demeanour, the witness said he and his friend acted “reasonably” throughout, but under cross-examination by Mr Hooper’s counsel, Michael Rawlinson, he denied being drunk and acting aggressively.

The court heard the witness, from South Shields, and his friend, had been to nearby Low Force, with about six other friends, from about 10.30am that day.

He denied having earlier walked down the middle of the road shirtless and during the later incident punching Mr Hooper, splitting his lip.

The witness said earlier in the day he and friends had bought a crate of beer from a local store, but he denied suggestions by Mr Rawlinson that he was acting aggressively and was almost taunting Mr Hooper.

The witness said all he was trying to achieve in confronting Mr Hooper in his cab was to prevent him from further damaging his friend’s courtesy car.

Mr Hooper, 57, who has no past convictions, denies dangerous driving and damaging property.

The trial, expected to last up to three days, continues.