Nick Freeman, aka Mr Loophole, has launched a crowd funding page to help an 83-year-old farmer – who shot a convicted criminal he suspected of trying to steal diesel – pay his £30,000 court costs.
A jury last week at Hull Crown Court took just 24-minutes to clear Kenneth Hugill of GBH, after the incident at his isolated East Yorkshire farmhouse, in November 2015.
The court heard the man whom he shot in the foot has convictions for burglary, theft and possession of an offence weapon, and, at hospital, gave three different versions of events before admitting a farmer had shot him.
The trial also heard the injured man was also on a police intelligence list, and additionally, a second man who drove the “victim” to hospital had convictions for burglary and violence.
Despite his age and never being on the wrong side of the law, it was Mr Hugill who was hauled before the courts.
However, despite the not guilty verdict, Mr Hugill will still have to pay the £30,000 he incurred paying for his defence.
Following the hearing, it was reported that the Hugill family would have to take out a loan for the amount and pay it back over two to three decades.
After reading about the case, Mr Freeman said he felt so strongly about the fact Mr Hugill would not be recompensed for his legal costs that he launched a crowd funding page and is now asking the public for their support.
Mr Freeman said: “The current system of where those who are acquitted found not guilty are not entitled to recoup their legal fees is an absolute disgrace, particularly in circumstances such as these.
“This is not justice and that’s why I have created this crowd-funding page to help Mr Hugill pay the £30,000 legal fees he incurred in defending himself. I do not know Mr Hugill, nor did I represent him.
“In my view he should never have been prosecuted because the evidence I read in the media never supported the contention that there was never more than a 50 percent chance of conviction.
“My opinion appears to have been vindicated by the short time it took for the jury to acquit.
“The CPS lawyer who decided to proceed with this prosecution should be held to account.
“The police response was absolutely pathetic too. Despite Mr Hugill phoning them immediately after the incident, it wasn’t until 15-hours later that they actually attended the scene.
“And when they did they were utterly confused as to what they were responding to, thinking they were dealing with a hostage situation!”
Mr Freeman added: “It would be fantastic if we can raise the full amount by crowd funding.
“I’m sure there are plenty of people who felt as equally incensed as I did after reading about the case, and will be happy to spare a few pounds in helping this hard-working family in their hour of financial need.”
The JustGiving Page is found at: