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Son claims damages for father's death 12 years ago.

Byline: Emma Brady

A smallholder was shot dead by his neighbour's son over a land dispute, a court heard yesterday.

Tony Alliss bought land in Penn Wood, near King's Stanley, Gloucestershire, in February, 1990, between his cottage and the farm of neighbour Terence Maule. He asked Mr Maule to move a fence due to a boundary changes following the land purchase. When he had failed to do this within seven days, Mr Alliss took it down, Mr Maule put it back up and the tension increased.

On the night of July 26, 1990, Mr Alliss was sought out by Mr Maule and his son Graig armed with newly-bought loaded shotguns and garden tools, the civil hearing at Bristol Crown Court was told.

Father-of-four Mr Alliss, aged 40, who was moving the boundary fence pulled down by the Maules, was killed by two pellets from the gun of Graig Maule, it was alleged. Mr Alliss's son Leigh, who was 14 at the time, said he heard the shots, went to the scene and was also shot and injured by a single pellet.

Leigh Alliss, now 27, of Wick Street, Painswick, Gloucestershire, is claiming compensation for personal damages, unlawful killing and unlawful assault in a civil case.

In 1991 a judge at Bristol Crown Court ruled that there was no criminal case to answer and the Maules were acquitted of murdering of Mr Alliss.

Terence, aged 71, and Graig, aged 31, of Coaley near Stroud, Gloucestershire were 'carrying out an observation' on the disputed land on the July evening when they came across Mr Alliss, the family's lawyer Robert Sherman told the court.

'Terence and Graig Maule were armed with shot guns and car tools because, they explained, they wanted to frighten Tony Alliss and as self-defence.

'The Maules went out that night with the intention to cause harm to or kill Tony Alliss,' he added.

Graig Maule said in a statement that Tony Alliss told them he was going to get the police and walked away from the pair back up the footpath.

Terence Maule followed him with his gun and, according to Graig, there was a struggle between the two.

The court heard Graig Maule pointed the loaded gun at Mr Alliss and unlawfully killed him.

He was then shot at again, added Mr Sherman.

The court heard how disputes between the Maules and the Allisses began in 1981 when Mr Alliss gained vehicle access on a strip of land between their two homes.

The hearing continues.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 3, 2002
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