Ten jailed after police battle at rave

PUBLISHED: 10:27 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 31 May 2010

AN ILLEGAL rave near Great Chesterford earlier this year which resulted in police helicopters from three forces being scrambled has resulted in 10 men being jailed. Chelmsford Crown Court was told on Monday that 60 officers were injured in the rave raid a

AN ILLEGAL rave near Great Chesterford earlier this year which resulted in police helicopters from three forces being scrambled has resulted in 10 men being jailed.

Chelmsford Crown Court was told on Monday that 60 officers were injured in the rave raid and were damaged. Objects thrown at police included glass bottles, cans, stones, metal poles, lighted pieces of wood, logs and mud and fireworks.

Ten men, some of whom gave themselves up to police later after seeing themselves on BBC's Crimewatch, admitted violent disorder and were jailed for a total of almost 10 years.

The court was told that officers from Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Herts, Beds and the Metropolitan Police were drafted in for the raid. As well as the defendants sentenced today another 34 were arrested for drugs offences.

Imposing the sentences, Judge Christopher Ball, QC, said: "There was a mood of violence and terror - it was not a picnic in the park but serious sustained violence against the police injuring some, traumatising many and terrorising."

He said 400 officers attended and 64 "received injuries of some sort" adding: "Through individual acts, it shows support to group violence being perpetrated against the police. Hundreds were involved."

Slamming raves, Judge Ball said the "public perception is of an illegal gathering, taking drugs, drinking, and music in a total disregard of the inconvenience caused."

In the dock were: Lewis Daniels, 22, of Beccles Road, Raveningham, Norwich; Daniel Goff, 22, of Latcham Road, Great Dunham, Kings Lynn; Andrew King, 41, of Onslow Crescent, Colchester; Anthony Markerson, 27, of Leas Road, Clacton; Casey Waters, 23, of Broomhill Road, Leighton Buzzard; James Layton, 26, of Rothschild Road, Leighton Buzzard; Greg Field, 19, of Rookery Road, Wyboston; Lee Hills, 19, of Spring Lane, Hemel Hempstead; Steven Jenkin, 22, of Icknield Way, Baldock; and Peter Ralph, 23, formerly of Ipswich, now of Nabwood Drive, Shipley, Bradford.

King, Waters and Markerson received 16 months each, Layton and Ralph 14 months Daniels, Goff and Jenkin 12 months each and Hills and Field eight months each while Daniels was also given 12 months consecutive for affray he admitted over a similar incident at a rave in Great Yarmouth last summer.

Judge Ball, described the "nuisance" to local villages of rave-goers "urinating", creating noise all night and parking in the area and added police were "injured, terrified and traumatised".

Det Supt Simon Dinsdale said afterwards: "Many officers feared for their lives that night - given the sustained length of violence against police officers it needed this response and as a signal to others in the future."

Chris McCann, prosecuting had told the court: "The case involves the activities of attendees at an illegal rave over the Bank Holiday weekend of August 26/27.

"Complaints were made about the noise emanating from the site - Essex police took the decision to close down the site and ask people to leave. It had been hoped it would be peaceful - but this did not materialise.

"Officers attended, they took vehicles on the field and, after a short time, they were under attack with vehicles damaged. Outnumbered, the police were pinned into the vehicles and reinforcements were called for.

"Disturbances continued from about 8pm to after 4.30 the next morning with officers seeing objects thrown ranging from glass bottles, cans, stones, metal poles, lighted pieces of wood, logs and mud being struck by all of the items.

"Fireworks were fired at them and they were crushed, jostled and struck by objects and people leaving experienced officers fearing for their safety. It was dark, the crowd was fuelled with alcohol and drugs.

"Continuing the unrest during the night, while others encouraged and supported the action, the attackers caused injuries to about 60 officers, mostly cuts. Other than the defendants in this case a number of persons were arrested on the night for offences concerning possession of illegal drugs.

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