A road.cc reviewer, Neil Gander, is appealing for information about the identity of a shepherd who threatened him and smashed his video camera. The man blamed him for his sheep running away, though the video evidence shows Neil had nothing to do with it.
“I had pulled over onto the verge as soon as I saw there were sheep and dogs on the road ahead”, explains Neil.
“They all came past, followed by a man on a quad bike. Once I thought the road was clear I set off again, but as I crested the hill I saw two men – one with a quad bike who was standing in the road ahead, and another on the fellside up to my left, who shouted 'fucking bike!' as though this explained everything.”.
Then the man standing in the road began swearing and shouting at Neil.
“I was really aggrieved as I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. He said, ‘It’s you freaks’ fault that them fuckers [the sheep] aren’t in there!’, pointing at the enclosure next to the farm buildings. Then he added, ‘Now fuck off or I’ll knock your teeth out for you’.
“I told him I wasn’t going to take this from him and warned him I had all this on video, at which point he tore the camera off its handlebar mount and smashed it in the road.”
The camera, a Techalogic DC-1 which Neil had been testing for road.cc, was wrecked but enough of the video file survived to show to the police.
Neil says, “The officer who came to see me agreed the man’s actions were completely unacceptable.”
However, when she went to the farm, the owner denied knowing the suspect.
“After this she told me that without a named suspect she would have to close the investigation. So I’ve had to go public to try to find the man myself,” explained Neil, who has posted still images of the man to Facebook try and identify him.
The incident happened at the village of Muggleswick in County Durham on 19 July.
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Laura Hood of Durham Constabulary at Consett Police Station via 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.