Bury St Edmunds: High profile leaders jailed for charity

THERE were red faces and looks of acute embarrassment in Bury St Edmunds this morning when a high profile group of 10 business leaders and well know people in the town were taken away in handcuffs.

The long arm of the law stretched into all four corners of the community to take away the culprits who left some of their workforce open mouthed.

They were taken away in police cars to their jail at Ickworth House and apartments while they make their calls asking contacts for bail pledges.

One of those was Warren Smyth, the chief executive of Abbeycroft Leisure which runs Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre, and Russell Cook, West Suffolk editor of the East Anglian Daily Times.

Mr Cook was picked up just after 9am and charged with not making a cup of tea in the office for a whole year which is in contravention of the Do It Yourself Act of 1945, while Mr Smyth, who was cuffed at 10.15am, was charged for working too hard, which is in contravention of the Work Hard, Play Harder Act of 2001.

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Along with the eight others they were taken to jail until friends and family raise �500 bail money for the hospice.

Mr Cook pleaded: “I am totally innocent and have made at least a couple of rounds of coffee in the past six months. This is outrageous. I should be going Christmas shopping over the weekend ... does this mean I won’t be able to trawl round the shops?”

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And Mr Smyth added: “I don’t mind going to jail for charity as long as they let me out! I have two children who would really like their daddy home for Christmas!

The others arrested this morning were Andrew Long, who farms at Fornham St Martin; David Farrow from Barclays Bank; Taras Townsend, Orbital Foods; Robert Baxter, Chassic Cab; John Riley, MENTA; Julia Upton, King Edward Upper School; Chris Holmes, ASDA; and Craig Jarvis, Ravenwood Hall.

Abby Mayes, corporate fundraiser for St Nicholas Hospice Care, said: “This event is a really fun way to fundraise for St Nicholas Hospice Care and I am delighted that everyone has whole heartedly been involved in making this event such a success. I’d like to thank them all for their hard work in generating bail money.”

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