Pensioners admit laying traps for cyclists on North Yorkshire path (+ link to video)

Police interview two women - a retired teacher and a former parish councillor - after teen mountain biker discovered traps

Two women aged in their sixties were spoken to by police after admitting placing rocks and branches on a path in North Yorkshire to stop cyclists from using it.

The obstacles were discovered by Nathan Cartwright, aged 17 and who lives with his parents in Leyburn, when he went for a ride on his mountain bike, reports Mail Online.

After finding the path blocked last Sunday on the Bolton Estate, a mile from where he lives with his parents, he spotted two women nearby.

The women, Anna Hacket-Pain, an ex-parish councillor and Wendy McLachlan, a retired teacher, both aged 62 and who were walking their dogs, alleged that he was breaking lockdown rules.

They demanded to know where he had travelled from, and claimed he was trespassing on the land.

The teen filmed the exchange on his helmet camera, with his father subsequently posting the footage to a local Facebook group, saying that the women should be "totally ashamed" of themselves and that police had been contacted.

Nathan argued that he only lived a mile away, that they had no more right to be there than him, and that as residents of different households they should not have been out together. He also said he had informal permission to ride on the estate.

Asking them if they had placed obstacles including branches on the path to stop cyclists from using it he was told, “Yes we did.”

Police sent officers to interview both women, and warned them about placing items that could cause injury to cyclists or damage their bikes.

Nathan said: “I remained calm to try to sort the situation out. I was surprised to see who it was who was doing it – I assumed it would be someone younger, judging by the weight of some of the rocks and branches.’

Mail Online reports that Mrs Hacket-Pain admitted having been spoken to by the police, and that the issue “is being dealt with through the appropriate channels.”

While she would not discuss the traps laid for cyclists, she did say: “Wendy and I met coincidentally in the woods that day – we were socially distancing.”

Mrs McLachlan said: “I don’t think that is something I want to comment on, thank you.”

North Yorkshire Police confirmed that they had been contacted “about obstructions put on a track popular with walkers and cyclists. It was believed these items could cause injury or damage to bikes.”

Since the UK entered lockdown, we’ve seen a number of incidents in which cyclists have been targeted by people spreading tacks across the road, including on the Outer Circle at London’s Regent’s Park.

And earlier this month, we reported how a man cycling in woods in Cleveland had both his tyres punctured after he rode across a wooden board with nails hammered into it that had been left as a trap for cyclists.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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