Stanmer horse rescue boss left in fear of his life

Posted On 20 Jun 2014 at 5:43 am

The man running a horse rescue centre in Stanmer Park said that he fears for his life after a series of attacks on his animals and property.

Danny Cross, 37, from Brighton, who has run the Stanmer Horses rescue centre for just over a year, said that Sussex Police had not tried to take a statement or collect evidence.

He said that the incidents coincided with gypsies and travellers being in the park, with some of them harassing him at his stables.

The incidents include

  • one horse having its face slashed
  • a foal being doped
  • a shire horse having its mane hacked and its neck stabbed
  • fences being broken, leaving a field insecure
  • people trying to steal horses by walking them out of the rescue centre field
  • a man forcing open a horse’s jaw to inspect it, injuring the horse’s mouth
  • a brick being thrown into the yard, scattering the horses that were there
  • the theft of the quad bike used for harrowing
  • other machinery also being taken
  • the brakes on Mr Cross’s car being cut

His colleague Emma Holloway, 30, from Southwick, said: “They were threatening to kill my kids. A big brick came over and all the horses scattered.”

She said that she managed to take pictures of another incident, adding: “I had photographic evidence but the police haven’t come to look at it.”

Topaz, a palamino white mare, was stabbed close to her right eye

Topaz, a palamino white mare, was stabbed close to her right eye

Mr Cross said: “With all the extra vet’s bills for all the injuries they’ve caused, I almost folded this winter.”

Some of the vet’s bills resulted from caring for four of the 40 rescued horses which were abandoned in Wild Park in Moulsecoomb in a poor condition. He believes that the four horses were left there by travellers and that they had to be nursed back to health.

Another of the horses, called Myler, has a scarred nose from an attack four months ago. Mr Cross said that Myler’s broken nose alone cost £3,500 and he needed continuing treatment.

He said: “The police do nothing. I caught people hacking off the gate and called the police. They were arrested but I wasn’t called to give evidence. They got a £400 fine.

“I worry that I’ll be found dead here one morning. It’s very scary.”

This week Sussex Police have sent police community support officers to the stables, with a vehicle visible in the stable yard.

Councillor Christina Summers, who represents Hollingdean and Stanmer on Brighton and Hove City Council, is to meet senior council officers and police officers today (Friday 20 June) and on Monday (23 June).

The council obtained a county court order for possession of the land and yesterday (Thursday 19 June) evicted about 300 people in the 70 or so vehicles that remained in Stanmer Park.

On Sunday (22 June) the park is due to host the annual Sussex Festival of Nature from 11am to 5pm.

Those who left yesterday are believed to have entered Happy Valley Park in Woodingdean and the pitch and putt course in Rottingdean.

On Wednesday (18 June) just three caravans occupied two of the ten pitches that are available at the transit site for gypsies and travellers at Horsdean on the edge of Patcham. More pitches would be available were it not for drainage problems.

The Brighton and Hove Independent free weekly newspaper today (Friday 20 June) called for “renewed attempts to find a solution that is more ambitious than the pointless cat-and-mouse game that sees council officers and police pursuing travellers from park to park”.

And the newspaper carried a proposal by Tony Coyle, a respected figure in the gypsy community, who suggested that self-managed – leased or privately owned – sites may be part of the answer.

It also said that Mr Coyle was ready to meet councilors, some of whom – like Councillor Christina Summers – may be prepared to listen rather than simply channel and champion the fury of residents.

To read Tony Coyle’s proposal, click here.

To read what Christina Summers, the ward councillor for Stanmer Park, has to say, click here.

  1. AnonBrighton Reply

    This has sickened me, police better pull your fingers out, these NFA travelers running rings around you laughing at you!, never seen so many related articles, then they’re off to another district of Sussex coast, AND this makes all decent travelers look like scum. And Travelers better police your own! Before joe public looks for you!, I am absolutely appalled at the police lack of care! What happened to real policing?, like looking at the evidence! talking to all neibouring people in the community, how about police visit local radio stations like SouthernCounties BBCSussex etc and appeal for help! But no its just , take statements, heres your crime number, we’ll be in touch, and thats it, off to the next domestic squabble, except animals are being slashed with knives, how can this man afford all these vet bills?, can’t we rally round n raise some money to help? This animal sanctury needs a camera system!, with decent nightvision. I hope some local security firm steps up like hero’s and helps this poor man out, or anyone with any spare kit? in fact the whole community needs to call the local police and make a complaint! OR people have to get together, start day n night watch vigils. Where is the RSPCA in all this? Why don’t police propperly pursue these crimes listed above? how many crimes have gone unreported since these travelers turned up in the area?
    Ok so police are watching out for them now, but go home at night, how about some undercover ops? Get on your Facebook n Twitter because its obvious the community needs to Police its self! #Travelers #StanmerPark #Sussex Mr Cross if you see this setup a PAYPAL DONATE and put it on a DIY free website if you have, if you dont, set one up! , facebook, youtube, twitter etc..best of luck and peace to all invovled.

  2. AnonBrighton Reply

    This has sickened me, police better pull your fingers out, these NFA travelers running rings around you laughing at you!, never seen so many related articles, then they’re off to another district of Sussex coast, AND this makes all decent travelers look like scum. And Travelers better police your own! Before joe public looks for you!, I am absolutely appalled at the police lack of care! What happened to real policing?, like looking at the evidence! talking to all neibouring people in the community, how about police visit local radio stations like SouthernCounties BBCSussex etc and appeal for help! But no its just , take statements, heres your crime number, we’ll be in touch, and thats it, off to the next domestic squabble, except animals are being slashed with knives, how can this man afford all these vet bills?, can’t we rally round n raise some money to help? This animal sanctury needs a camera system!, with decent nightvision. I hope some local security firm steps up like hero’s and helps this poor man out, or anyone with any spare kit? in fact the whole community needs to call the local police and make a complaint! OR people have to get together, start day n night watch vigils. Where is the RSPCA in all this? Why don’t police propperly pursue these crimes listed above? how many crimes have gone unreported since these travelers turned up in the area?
    Ok so police are watching out for them now, but go home at night, how about some undercover ops? Get on your Facebook n Twitter because its obvious the community needs to Police its self! #Travelers #StanmerPark #Sussex Mr Cross if you see this setup a PAYPAL DONATE and put it on a DIY free website if you have, if you dont, set one up! , facebook, youtube, twitter etc..best of luck and peace to all invovled.

  3. Pingback: Can we end this lawlessness? | Councillor Christina Summers

  4. Pingback: Can we end this lawlessness? | Councillor Christina Summers

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