A young farmer has been accused of acting like “a drug-crazed hitman” after he allegedly rammed the spikes of a forklift through the windscreen of a van then slashed the throat of the driver.
Stuart Allan’s alleged victim, fellow farmer Gary Stuart, agreed the alleged incident “was like something out of The Sopranos” as he gave evidence at Aberdeen Sheriff Court today.
Mr Stuart claims Allan, 31, also threatened to come after his family if he told anyone what had happened.
The incident is alleged to have taken place on a single track road at Kinclune Farm near Alford on November 11, 2019.
Mr Stuart said Allan, a former school friend, was driving a grey Manitou low loader laden with bails when he met his own VW Caddy van on the road near their neighbouring family farms.
“The bails were dumped. I reversed back so I was beside a fence then he directly drove at me, and raised the forks to the height of my windscreen,” Mr Stuart, 29, told the court.
Mr Stuart said he thinks between four and six tines punctured the windscreen and he jumped out of the van.
He said the pair then fought in the road before Allan landed a “big smack” which left him “stunned”, then swung a knife twice making contact with his neck.
He claims Allan told him: “You are lucky I stopped there, I was going to slit your throat, pick up your vehicle and dump it in the River Don.
“If you tell anybody about this I will come after you and come after your family.”
Mr Stuart admitted he lied to family and friends about what happened for the next two months because he was “terrified”, but eventually reported the matter to the police.
Allan’s defence agent Gregor Kelly told Mr Stuart: “It sounds like something you would not expect in rural Aberdeenshire… It’s like something out of The Sopranos or something like that?”
To which he replied: “yes”.
Mr Kelly asked: “You have made Mr Allan out to be a drug-crazed hitman, is that right?
“Not a simple stockman, a mummy’s boy who can’t drive on the road at 31 and has to get lifts? You are suggesting he is a very different man, is that correct?”
“Yes,” Mr Stuart replied again.
The court was told how the pair were former school pals and fellow members of Vale of Alford Young Farmers Club before their relations hit an “all-time low”.
Medical records detailing Mr Stuart’s trips to hospital in Huntly and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary following the incident showed he told medics he had injured himself on an angle grinder.
He was treated for two lacerations to his neck with stitches and has been left permanently scarred.
Mr Kelly said since Mr Stuart had lied about his injury and van damage on multiple occasions to medical staff, family and friends, how the jury could trust him now?
“I’m telling the truth now,” Mr Stuart said. “I lied because I was terrified that Stuart would come at me again.”
Firestarter gives evidence
Another witness, recently-convicted firestarter and Huntly farmer Ryan Milne, told the court that Allan had admitted his guilt to him when the pair were in a pub a few months later.
“He said that Gary stopped and Stuart had the low-loader forks on and drove it at Gary’s van,” the 23-year-old told depute fiscal Lynne MacVicar.
“And when Gary got out he took the key out from the low-loader, put it between his knuckles and punched Gary.
“I was quite shocked by what he told me. At that time I probably still thought we were all friends.”
Allan, of Goryhill Farm, Alford, denies assaulting Mr Stuart to his injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life, as well as attempting to defeat the ends of justice. He also denies two charges of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.
The trial, before Sheriff Morag McLaughlin, continues.
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