Date: 26 Jul 1990
Tony Alliss was shot in Penn Woods.
His neighbours, a man and his son, were tried for his murder but the judge ordered the murder charges against them to be dropped after he said that there was not enough evidence to show that there had been an agreement to kill.
Tony Alliss had been involved in a dispute with his neighbours for over a decade regarding access to his property through Penn Wood.
Although Tony Alliss had access to his property, Beechwood Cottage, by a pedestrian right of way that ran along his neighbours drive from the front, he had to access his property by car from the rear. However, in 1980 he offered his neighbour £5,000 to tarmac it if he could then have access along it to his cottage, but the neighbour refused. It was said then that relations between them became tense.
The neighbour had been involved in discussions to buy the woods that went along his property and up to Beechwood Cottage but no agreements could be made, and then Tony Alliss and a friend bought the woods for £175,000 which meant that he could then access his property directly from the front via the woods by car.
However, his neighbour, who lived at Sandpits Farm, disputed the boundary between his field and the wood. The neighbour later put up some boundary posts which Tony Alliss took down. His neighbour then put the boundary posts back up in his favour and when Tony Alliss and his 14-year-old son later went out and started to take them down the neighbour and his son, who saw them doing it, came over with guns to confront them.
The neighbour said that there was then a struggle during which the neighbour’s son was knock down and during which his gun went off accidently, hitting Tony Alliss. Tony Alliss managed to stagger off along a track for a short distance before collapsing.
The son said that when Tony Alliss's son went to see what was happening after he heard the gun shot, his gun went off accidently and hit him although he later admitted in court that he had fired because he was scared and thought that Tony Alliss's son was going to shoot him.
Tony Alliss's son said, 'There was a little track where my father’s body was and if I had gone down there I would have run straight into his killers. At this point I didn’t know my father had been shot, but something didn’t feel right and I decided to go down another bit adjacent to the path. I started to hear whispering voices and I crouched down in the long grass near a cracked plum tree, I still couldn’t see much because it was very dark. One of the voices called my name and asked me to come here. I was climbing over a barbed wire fence when someone started shooting. I felt hot air and hot metal hit my arm and it just snapped backwards. That’s when I started running for my life, I was tensing my back the whole time expecting something to hit me. There were definitely two people doing the shooting. I ran straight into the arms of a schoolteacher. He asked me who was doing the shooting. He said it can’t be the father because he’s been at my house calling an ambulance. It was then that I realised there must have been a third person. I was taken to the schoolteacher’s house so I could have my arm checked out but no one would give me access to my family, I still didn’t know dad was dead. My thoughts turned to my dogs who had run off when the shooting started and I didn’t know where they were so I went looking for them. I saw a guy in a Red Fiesta and when I walked past him he looked at me in a very strange way, muttering and cursing. Later on I asked police what he was doing here and they said they picked him up for drunk and disorderly but I was very confused about why he was there. Why would you take him along to a crime scene? I believe to this day it was him who shot me and I wouldn’t be surprised if he shot my dad as well'.
It was said that following the shooting, obscene phone calls were made to Beechwood Cottage along with anonymous calls that rang off. It was also said that their car was damaged by a sledgehammer and that they had logs stolen.
At the trial it was claimed that the neighbour and his son had conspired to murder Tony Alliss and that they had laid out waiting for him to turn up and start removing the boundary poles.
The son admitted firing his gun at the trial but said that he only did so because he feared that Tony Alliss's son was going to shoot him.
It was also noted that the gun that killed Tony Alliss was likely to have gone off accidently.
However, the judge ordered the jury to acquitted the father and son on the eighth day of the trial after hearing the defence which included a please stating that there was a lack of evidence for the charges.
The father tried for murder later died.
In June 2018 it was reported that the case was being referred to police the watchdog after it was claimed that evidence existed to show that a third man was also present and that the ballistic reports and medical evidence shown at the trial were not consistent with other known facts.
Tony Alliss was a truck and excavator driver. It was heard that he always wanted a farm of his own and that at the time of his death he ran cattle on rented land at Manor Farm in Kings Stanley and also kept poultry.