Thugs smash pub on drunken rampage

DRUNKEN youngsters hurled missiles through the windows of a village pub as frightened customers cowered inside.

Dave Gooderham

DRUNKEN youngsters hurled missiles through the windows of a village pub as frightened customers cowered inside.

Dozens of rampaging thugs smashed the ornate front windows of The Swan, in Long Melford, near Sudbury, before damaging the house next door.

Community leaders condemned the attack, which came on the night the village celebrated its annual fair, and warned they would be monitoring future events more closely. But they also looked to play down the incident - saying such drunken vandalism was rare.

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Pub manager Rachel Morgan said: “I have never known anything like this to happen to either the pub or in the village - but that just makes it even more shocking.

“It is a one-off incident but it was very frightening. Because it was totally unexpected, I think it was that bit scarier as we never have violence in the pub.

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“The windows were broken with customers inside. They were shocked but thankfully they did not panic, in fact they were brilliant.”

The trouble flared after residents celebrated the annual fair on the village green. The Hall Street pub came under attack from about 50 troublemakers at about 11pm on Friday night . Thugs smashed windows, showering regulars with glass and then attacked a neighbouring property.

Police arrested an 18-year-old man from Glemsford on suspicion of criminal damage and he was later cautioned and released.

Ms Morgan added: “The pub is functioning normally and we have had new windows fitted, but it is a shame because they were very old pains of glass which were shattered.”

Council leaders said such incidents were rare in the picturesque village but pledged to monitor behaviour at forthcoming community events.

Ian Wotherspoon, chairman of Long Melford Parish Council, said: “This is not a normal incident or common event but this doesn't take away from the seriousness of what happened.

“I think no village or town is completely free from youngsters congregating in groups as they have nowhere else to go. I don't this is a particular problem in Long Melford but we do have some events coming up and we will be monitoring behaviour carefully. We do hope this was a one-off incident.”

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