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11 December 2023

Crazy World: Don’t hurt burglars, people told...

By Staff & Agencies

Villagers outraged after police order them not to protect garden sheds

Residents in some of Britain's villages have been ordered by police to remove wire mesh from their windows as burglars could be injured.

Home owners in the villages of Tandridge and Tatsfield in Surrey and in Westerham, Brasted and Sundridge in Kent have said they are furious that they are being branded 'criminals' for protecting their property, the Daily Mail reported.

Locals had reinforced their windows with wire mesh after a series of shed thefts but were told by community police officers that the wire was 'dangerous' and could lead to criminals claiming compensation if they 'hurt themselves'.

Surrey Police have defended the move but outraged residents have attacked the force for seemingly trying to protect criminals. Thomas Cooper, of Tatsfield, Surrey, said he put the mesh around three of his garden sheds after two break-ins over the past four years.

He said he decided to take action after reports of a rise in shed burglaries in the area near the Kent and Surrey border.

"I have three sheds and had two break-ins in the past four years," Cooper explained. "I mean, what are you meant to do? Let them take your stuff? It is ridiculous that the law protects them even though they are breaking it."
Last month mother-of-three Samantha Cullum had her entire shed pinched in the village of Brasted, near Sevenoaks in Kent, when thieves simply lifted it onto a truck in the dead of night.

"To properly secure your sheds, Surrey Police strongly advises people to invest in items such as good-quality locks and bolts, and not to resort to homemade devices, as this could cause injury."

A police source  added: "Homemade devices can cause injury and there have been cases where criminals have sued for injuries they have suffered while committing a criminal act. We are advising people to do whatever they can to protect their property, but wire mesh is not one of the suggestions we would make."

Two horses electrocuted in freak parade ring tragedy

Two horses died after apparently being electrocuted in a mysterious incident minutes before the start of a hurdle race on Saturday.

Hundreds of spectators watched Fenix Two and Marching Song rear up and scream before ‘dropping like stones’ in the parade ring at Newbury racecourse in Berkshire, the Daily Mail said.

It is thought they suffered electric shocks from underground cables that may have been punctured during recent drilling to aerate the ground.

There was disquiet that the race, the Novices’ Hurdle, which would have been Fenix Two’s first race, went ahead despite the tragedy, although the rest of the meeting was abandoned. Other horses which showed signs of distress in the paddock – one was seen to ‘wobble’ – were reportedly  found to have burn marks on their mouths after they crossed the finishing line.

Although the investigation into the deaths centred on electric shocks as a cause, course chairman Christopher Spence said none of the cables beneath the paddock showed signs of damage. None of the stable lads who led the horses in the ring was harmed.

Lover who bit off ear locked up 

A jealous British woman was jailed on Saturday for biting off a chunk of her boyfriend's ear - which was then eaten by her dog.

Boozy June Thomson, 44, flew into a rage during a night out because a barmaid had bought Trevor Wainman a birthday drink, the Sun reported.

When they got home, she sank her teeth into his left ear and tore a lump away.

And as she spat it out, Alfie the Yorkshire terrier pounced. Police searched for it in vain.

Prosecutor David Bradshaw told Hull Crown Court: "The dog ate the ear before anything could be done about it."

Jobless mum-of-five Thomson, of Hull, was jailed for 18 months.

Hull Judge Michael Mettyear told her: "It is a serious case of drunken violence. This man was badly injured because of your behaviour. There was no excuse for it. You drank pint after pint of Guinness, followed by double shots of Pernod.

"You must have known drink can cause you to lose your temper."

Chef Trevor, 45, said later: "It was savage."

Top policeman disciplined for 'swearing too much at staff'

A married senior police officer who had a relationship with his female Chief Constable has been told to stop swearing at staff after a colleague complained.

The female officer, understood to be a Detective Inspector, claimed Superintendent Gilbert Houalla, 50, shouted and swore at her at High Wycombe police station in Buckinghamshire, the Daily Mail said.

She is said to have been unhappy with Houalla’s management style and lodged  a complaint with Thames Valley Police’s Professional Standards Department.

Sources said no formal disciplinary action was taken but Houalla was told to ‘mind his language’.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton, 48, recently ended a relationship with Houalla.

The Mail on Sunday revealed last week that she took him to two State banquets at Windsor Castle.

Thornton claimed £130 expenses for her dress hire and £5 for a deposit on Mr Houalla’s suit. He is believed to have paid the balance himself.

Sources said that Houalla and his wife Ruth effectively led separate lives but had never divorced. Thames Valley Police would not comment.