Travellers move onto school grounds.

Posted: May 26, 2010 in Law & Disorder

Travellers moving onto any land they feel like is getting out of hand. We already have them totally ignoring planning regulations now they trespass onto school playing fields disrupting childrens’ education.

IlieA group of travellers has set up camp with 30 caravans in a school’s playing field, forcing hundreds of children to stay at home
Education chiefs set up an exclusion zone at Smithills School, Bolton, after the convoy moved in on Sunday evening.

Around 300 Year 8 pupils have been told to work from home because their classrooms are next to the playing fields and it was feared the travellers’ presence could cause disruption to classes. The school’s sports day may have to be cancelled too.

Headteacher Chris Roberts said other year groups will be told to stay at home throughout the week if the travellers remain on the fields.

Police were due to speak to the group to inform them that trespass, which is normally a civil offence, is elevated to a criminal offence when it is carried out on a school premises and causes disruption.

This would give the police the power of arrest if the travellers refused to move on.

The police action would override a move by Bolton Council officers who were due to visit the travellers yesterday to give them a direction to leave the land. The direction gives them 24 hours to leave, if they do not, the council then have to apply for a summons from magistrates.

The travellers were given notice to leave a local park by Bolton Council after the caravans appeared near the main entrance, off Moss Bank Way, on Monday night.

Talking about travellers

James McDonagh, from an Irish travelling community, brutally raped a lesbian woman as she was forced to sleep rough in a Maidstone park.

Maidstone Crown Court heard three men pounced on the woman as she lay under a tree in Mote Park in June last year.

Two of the men held her down while McDonagh raped her from behind. He was arrested after his DNA was found on the woman’s underwear.

Prosecutor Sarah Campbell described it as a “violent and nasty rape”. Afterwards, the woman was shocked and embarrassed and did not report it for several days. Adjourning sentence until July 2, Judge Martin Joy said McDonagh had been convicted on “compelling and overwhelming evidence”.

He added: “It was clearly a violent rape of an alcoholic lady, who was vulnerable and alone. “It is quite clear he left his DNA. The nature of the attack is a disturbing feature of the case.” The judge added if reports showed McDonagh was a danger, there would be an inevitable indeterminate prison sentence.

  1. Howard Thomas says:

    What became of his accomplices?

    • percyweller says:

      He was caught by a police DNA trawl, pleading innocence he wouldn’t have given up his accomplices. So those potential rapists are still out their amongst us.

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