My Mother Said I Never Should
When a gang of travellers trespassed on her land and allegedly threatened to cut her throat with a chainsaw, Tracy St Clair Pearce dialled 999, expecting protection and reassurance from the police.
Miss St Clair Pearce, a cancer sufferer who is receiving chemotherapy, was walking in her smallholding on Friday evening when she was approached by four teenagers from an encampment next to her land.
The 50-year-old, who breeds rare Shetland cattle and Lancashire Heeler dogs at Seven Saints Farm near Chelmsford, Essex, could hear the sound of a chainsaw cutting her trees for firewood and told the youths to leave.
In response, they subjected her to a barrage of abuse, Miss St Clair Pearce claims. One of the gang, a boy of about 14, allegedly said that he would kill her and her animals.
“He threatened to slit my throat and he also threatened to cut the throats of the cows, the calves and foals,” she said.
Miss St Clair Pearce called police, who took a statement only to return on Monday with a warrant to seize the 12-bore shotgun and smaller weapon which she owns legally and keeps to deter foxes from attacking her poultry.
She was out judging a dog show in Bedfordshire when police arrived, so they kept coming back until finally getting access to the locked gun cabinet at 3am. Officers later returned to demand her shotgun licence, without explaining why they were taking the guns, she said.
Officers told Miss St Clair Pearce that they had made arrangements to go to the camp on Saturday, but it is understood that they were told that the main instigator had “gone away”.
Police said they were working with the local council, which owns the land on which the travellers are staying, to find a solution to the problem.
That's nice for them isn't it.