Friday , July 12 2024

Yobs armed with catapults are terrorising a quiet Surrey village and even targeted a funeral in their latest outrage after previously maiming swans

A group armed with catapults are terrorising a quiet village in Surrey and made a funeral their latest target after harming swans. 

The peaceful village of Godstone has seen windows of homes and several animals maimed with swans and waterfowl being found dead.   

A local swan sanctuary worker said he saw ‘eyes exploded, throats cut, skulls fractured, wings damaged and broken legs’ due to attacks, according to LBC. 

The culprits are yet to be found as police say they tend to strike at seemingly random times of day.

A vicar has now reported damage purposely being perpetrated to St Nicholas Church, including windows being smashed and tiles being shot off the roof. Three cars, including his own, had windows completely shot out.

Peter O’Connell, the rector of St Nicolas Church, said: ‘I was taking a funeral in this church, I came out afterwards and three cars including mine had windows shot out. 

‘Tiny holes, it looked like something that would have been fired by a catapult. 

An injured swan recovers after losing his eye when shot with a catapult in Godstone

An injured swan recovers after losing his eye when shot with a catapult in Godstone

Volunteers believed the swan assaulted in Godstone was hit by objects fired from a catapult

Volunteers believed the swan assaulted in Godstone was hit by objects fired from a catapult

Peter O'Connell (pictured), the rector of St Nicolas Church, said he was taking a funeral in the church before coming outside to find 'three cars including mine had windows shot out'

Peter O’Connell (pictured), the rector of St Nicolas Church, said he was taking a funeral in the church before coming outside to find ‘three cars including mine had windows shot out’

‘Particularly for the mourners who were there to see off someone they loved to come out and experience so much damage to their cars was quite traumatic, and an expense to get it repaired.’

He added: ‘We had someone fire something through one of the stained glass windows. It was the nativity window, they managed to take out the figure of Mary holding Jesus right at the middle of the picture.’ 

The attack is the latest in a string of incidents involving catapults, with several reports of injured animals near Godstone Pond. A two-year-old child was nearly hit by a ball fired through his bedroom window while he was sleeping in July 2018.

In December 2012, an elderly woman fell down the stairs while rushing to the scene after she heard the smash of one of her downstairs windows. The woman found two small holes in her double-glazed window.

Now the residents of Godstone are demanding answers as the culprits are still on the run.

The village has seen cars damaged, windows smashed, animals killed and even mourners targeted

The village has seen cars damaged, windows smashed, animals killed and even mourners targeted

A spokesperson for Surrey Police said: ‘We have received reports of incidents of catapulting offences in the Godstone area. These have included reports of persons catapulting at birds and also catapulting at property and vehicles.’

‘The local team is aware of these issues, and officers have increased patrols in the local area but there is no specific peak time or day identified for when these offences typically take place, which makes it harder to target these patrols most effectively.

‘We know that catapulting offences are under-reported, and we would encourage people to always report these offences, as well as any reports of people carrying catapults and suspicious behaviour, as it all helps build up a picture of what is going on in the are.

‘Following a report of suspicious activity involving persons carrying a catapult, the CCTV was obtained and circulated both internally and on our Facebook page appealing for information to help us identify ID the suspects involved. Unfortunately, we have not been unable to identify the individuals in these images so far – if we do, we will look at any interventions which could be put in place.’ 

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