Shock as digger ploughs into gym

THE manager of a new north Suffolk gym spoke of his disbelief last night after a digger mysteriously crashed into the wall of the business causing over £50,000 of damage.

THE manager of a new north Suffolk gym spoke of his disbelief last night after a digger mysteriously crashed into the wall of the business causing over £50,000 of damage.

Steven Cherry has spent the last five months setting up Phoenix Health and Fitness centre in Ingate, Beccles, before finally opening the gym on Saturday.

However, in the early hours of yesterday morning, a digger somehow ended up smashing through the side of the one storey building, pushing up the roof and squashing two rowing machines and a treadmill inside.

Mr Cherry, from Lowestoft, said: "I do not think it's sunk in yet. We think it must have happened at around 3.30am as the clock fell off the wall and is now stuck on that time.


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"I would say there has been £40,000 worth of structural damage and £10,000 worth of damage to equipment."

Nevertheless, he remains optimistic and hopes to open for business on Wednesday.

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Suffolk police and fire services were alerted to the incident shortly after 4.30am after neighbour Michelle Cable and her five-year-old son heard the crash and the sound of bricks dropping.

She said: "The whole house shook. I looked out of my window and saw a friend and asked him what was happening."

She said the friend saw the digger had crashed into the building and called the emergency services.

The gym shares the former grocery store with Phoenix Tanning, which was the target of two break-ins last October, with paint thrown over sun beds and power cables cut during one of the incidents.

Pauline Devereux, 55, took over the shop a year ago, and is helped by her husband Rob, 57, a language teacher at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles, and their daughter, Michelle, 25.

Mr Devereux said: "It looks like whoever did this tried to lift the roof off, but when the back wheels of the digger went into the air, they must have panicked and run off.

"I cannot believe anyone would be so vindictive.

"We called the business Phoenix after resurrecting it from the flames from last October's events."

A police spokesman said officers and structural engineers were still investigating the cause of the damage but that a crime had been committed.

Anyone who has any information about the incident should call Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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