Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farmer's `Life under Threat' from Gang of Armed Thugs

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farmer's `Life under Threat' from Gang of Armed Thugs

Article excerpt

Byline: Exclusive By Beverley Addy, Alison Dargie And Dave Black

A farmer from Northumberland is trapped in Poland after police confiscated his passport and claims his life is in danger from armed thugs who drove him off land he has worked for five years.

Allan Mellor, 38, has fled the farm in Malbork, northern Poland, which he has managed since leaving his home town Alnwick in 1998, saying he has been driven from his farm by gun-toting gangsters.

Mr Mellor, put his home on the Fairfields estate, Alnwick, up for sale so he could buy out his employers - two Northumberland farmers - but a police investigation and the threats have all but wrecked that plan.

He is now the subject of a police investigation, has had his passport confiscated and is living in his Landrover in remote forest clearings to avoid the men who threatened him.

Last night he said: "I still can't believe this has happened to me. I put five years hard work into that farm. Sometimes I was paid on time sometimes I wasn't, but it didn't bother me because I trusted it would all work out in the end.

"I've done as best I can and built a life here then this happens. I don't know who is behind this, but it is not a nice position to be in."

Mr Mellor's problems began in April when police officers arrived at the farm, took away the accounts and arrested him as part of a tax evasion investigation - despite the British Embassy in Warsaw confirming last night that farmers in Poland don't pay tax.

He is now being investigated for benefiting financially from the "mismanagement" of business.

A police spokesman said yesterday his passport is being held until the end of the investigation but that Mr Mellor faces no legal action at present.

Two weeks ago Mr Mellor says he received a phone call and was told to "be off the farm" by 7.30am.

Later, he says, armed men arrived at the farm and told him he didn't work there any more.

He said: "The farm has always had money problems but things started to turn peculiar in April. …

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