A parish councilor hailed as ‘green farmer of the year’ has avoided jail after plowing his tractor into a GP’s car during a road-rage row.
Andrew Holinshed who was presented with his green accolade at the Northern Farmer Awards in 2016, drove Paul Uglow’s 7.5 tonne VW Tiguan.
Dr Uglow, 48, followed Holinshed to his farm near Sandbach, Cheshire, when the farmer ‘cut him off’ at a junction.
But when he stopped to speak to Holinshed, the irate 54-year-old drove his green tractor straight at him. The VW suffered £13,000 worth of damage, while the driver’s side window was smashed and Dr Uglow’s hand was cut.
Hollinshead, who was credited with using a wind turbine, solar panels and a hydrogen refueling station on his farm, pleaded guilty at Crewe Magistrates’ Court to criminal damage occasioning actual bodily harm and assault. He was fined £1,190 and ordered to pay costs of £1,476 – but avoided a possible four-year jail term.
Parish councilor Andrew Hollinshead, 54, (pictured outside Crewe Magistrates’ Court) rides in Dr Paul Uglow’s 7.5 tonne VW Tiguan
Holinshed (pictured on his Cheshire farm) was named ‘Green Farmer of the Year’ at the Northern Farmer Awards in 2016
Dr Uglow (pictured), 48, followed Holinshed to his farm near Sandbach, Cheshire, when the farmer ‘cut him off’ at a junction. Holinshed suffered a gash on his right hand after he rammed his tractor into a GP car
The road rage incident happened on the A534 at 6.20pm on July 11 last year as Dr Uglow, who runs a surgery at Haslington Medical Center near Crewe, was returning home from work after collecting his six-month-old puppy.
Prosecutor Simon Leong said the GP saw a tractor pulling right in front of him, causing him to make an emergency stop. The tractor driver then gave a ‘middle finger salute’ to the GP, he added.
‘Dr Uglow then decided to follow the tractor as he wanted to speak to the driver about what had happened. At the defendant’s farm, he rolled down the window and said, “Can I have a word?”
‘But the driver of the tractor, who was about 50 yards across the yard, went straight towards him and hit the driver’s side of the car where Dr Uglow was sitting.’
Mr Leong told magistrates Hollinshead was stepping on the accelerator before getting into the doctor’s car. After the attack, he then got out of the tractor and told Dr Uglow: ‘I’ll tell the police you got me out of front.’
Speaking about the incident, Dr Uglow told the court how he had to ‘flip’ out of the way of the defendant’s tractor pulling into the road in front of him.
He said: ‘I hit the side embankment so hard, it damaged two alloy wheels. By the time I stopped the tractor and completed its maneuver and I could see that the driver was rebelling, all I understood was obscenity. He was saying “F**** off”, “You af*****r”, “P** off”. ‘
The doctor said he followed Holinshed – who he described as an ‘absolute beast’ – because he was traveling in the same direction as the GP was heading home.
Holinshed won his Green Farmer of the Year award in 2016 for using a wind turbine, solar panels and a hydrogen refueling station on his farm (pictured).
Dr Uglow, 48, (pictured outside Crewe Magistrates’ Court) was returning to his farm near Sandbach in Holinshed, Cheshire, when the farmer ‘cut him off’ at a junction.
He claimed the angry farmer continued to slam on his brakes as if ‘trying to encourage me to hit his car’.
The doctor said he managed to overtake the tractor and planned to go home and call the police but when he saw Holinshed walking around his farm he realized they were neighbors, so he entered the farm through a second entrance near his house.
‘I wanted to go talk to him to tell him he had damaged my car and say “let’s exchange the details in a civil fashion”,’ she said. ‘So I went to a different entrance to the farm. I didn’t know it was his farm until I got home.’
But before that, Holinshed smashed his tractor into the GP’s car, trashing it, spraying him with shards of glass, with one shard ‘bruising’ Dr Uglow’s right arm, cutting a four-inch gash in it, he said.
The doctor added, ‘He kept pushing against the car for a long time. ‘He kept pushing and the noise went on for quite some time. He saw me and sped into my car before I had a chance to get out.’
Holinshed’s lawyer Stuart Flood said his client was ‘extremely disappointed’ by the outcome of the trial but still respected the court’s decision.
The solicitor said Farmer did a lot of work in the community and for charity, adding: ‘He is 54 years old and has never been in trouble.
‘He is very well thought of and highly respected in society. It is highly unlikely that this is a gentleman who will ever trouble the authorities in the future.’
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