Original article no longer available
The Yorkshire Post
by Olwen Dudgeon
March 29, 2006
A MECHANIC accused of murdering a businessman and injuring two of his relatives in a knife attack told a jury yesterday he never meant to stab any of them.
Gavin Hogg said he had deliberately driven a customer’s car into Darrell Burrows’s Mercedes in retaliation after his own vehicle was damaged the night before and he believed Mr Burrows was behind it.
He told Leeds Crown Court he did not think he would have acted the way he did if he had not been taking Prozac at the time for depression.
After the crash he was dazed and picked up a knife from inside the car which he taken with him that morning to cut a melon for his breakfast.
He said he thought he would frighten anybody away with it if they came towards him when he tried to leave the car park of Mr Burrows’s family-run haulage business M & B Haulage, next to his premises on the Low Mills Industrial Estate in Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury.
“Just as I was getting out of the car door I was in a bent down position when I felt a kick or a punch to the side of my head,” he told the jury.
He said he did not know who was there but he threw his arms out and they went round a person as he tried to pull himself up. He thought the knife might have gone in then.
Hogg told the jury he did not know who that person was as he pushed him backwards towards another car and it was only then he looked up and realised it was Mr Burrows’s son David.
He said he then heard somebody shout “bastard” from behind him and was kicked in the back of the head. He turned with his arms out and the knife still in his hand and might have caught Darrell Burrows, although he did not realise it at the time.
He had no recollection of also injuring Mr Burrows’s half brother Clive Hoyland in the incident.
“I was just getting knocked from side to side, backwards and forwards, and I had my hands over my head and was bent over trying to protect myself,” he said.
Hogg, 34, of Wellhouse Lane, Mirfield, Dewsbury, denies the murder of David Burrows, 36, two counts of attempted murder and two alternative charges of wounding Darrell Burrows and Mr Hoyland with intent on September 14 last year.
The prosecution claims he stabbed the trio after a long-running dispute over litter and land rights.
Hogg said he was treated for depression from the age of 18 and on three or four occasions was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
He was later also diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
In 2005 he was on Prozac for his depression although he told his doctor it made him feel “cold and calculating.”
Under cross-examination by James Goss QC, prosecuting, he said: “Unless you have had problems with mental illness you won’t understand what it was like things roll into one and lots of things are going through your mind. I didn’t mean to stab him (David) or any of them.”
The trial continues.