Policing defended after Chatteris resident’s catapult attack on youths who terrorised his home

POLICE defended their approach to tackling anti-social behaviour after a vigilante Chatteris resident fired a catapult at teenage thugs who terrorised his “dream home”.

Bruce Harwood, 38, was tormented by youths urinating on his front door, hurling

eggs at his windows and vandalising the gates at the Grade-II listed Chatteris House.

After a stone was thrown at the window of his top floor luxury apartment, Harwood took matters into his own hands, firing metal ball bearings at the yobs using his ‘Black Widow’ catapult.

Harwood was given 150 hours of community work, after he admitted causing actual bodily harm.

But the Judge Gareth Hawkesworth, presiding over the case at Cambridge Crown Court, rejected a compensation claim by the youths he had admitted firing at.

They had demanded �3,600 in compensation for injuries sustained to their groins and legs during the attack.

Most Read

But Judge Hawkesworth threw out the claims, describing the compensation demands as “entirely inappropriate”.

Harwood said after the case that the “constant bombardment” from thugs had caused many residents to flee their apartments.

He said: “We’ve called police on so many occasions that they sometimes don’t

turn up and have never arrested or charged any of these kids.

“This flat was my dream home and we’ve been under constant bombardment. Most

people have moved out because they can’t cope.

“The police seem to have said to these lads ‘poor you let get you

compensation’ instead of ‘what the hell were you doing there?’”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police revealed there have been four reports of anti-social behaviour outside Chatteris House in the last two years.

The spokesman added that many incidents of anti-social behaviour may have gone unreported.

He said: “We are aware of some problems with anti-social behaviour in the area of Chatteris House, however, there have only been four incidents of this type reported to police from this property in the past two years.

“The wider High Street area was set as a priority for police and partner agencies between March and June this year following a public meeting and patrols were increased, but there was no major problem with anti-social behaviour.

“We would ask people to always report incidents so we can take action and direct patrols.”

The list of anti-social behaviour incidents allegedly suffered by Harwood was so long that Judge Hawkesworth called a halt as it was read out in court.

The 38 year-old says he has now been forced to leave his �520 a month apartment, and has gone to live with his fianc�e in Northamptonshire.

He said that he had never meant to hurt anyone, only to scare the yobs who had subjected residents to a reign of terror.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter