So great was the anxiety and paranoia inspired by the phantom tyre slasher that by January everyone in the village near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, seemed to be considered a suspect. Then the villagers turned detective.
In February electrician Chris Moores, 33, hid three tiny CCTV cameras in his garden shrubbery – and two weeks later the footage appeared to show a balding man in an overcoat walking his dog, and pausing to stab at the tyres of a grey Alfa Romeo.An inspiring, genuine community action!
They thought the police and Crown Prosecution Service would have no trouble getting a conviction for such an apparently open and shut case.Oh, reader. You know only too well what's coming next, don't you?
The prosecution of alleged tyre slasher Mr Richards has now collapsed in ignominy with the presiding magistrate accusing the police of “inexcusable” failure and declaring: “The bench has to make it clear that we are appalled at the way this case has been handled by the CPS and the police."Not for nothing are the CPS dubbed 'Couldn't Prosecute Satan'.
...the villagers of Carlton Miniott were furious. Confronting police officers outside court, grandfather Kevin McCarthy, 60, told them: “It’s been a balls-up from you guys from start to finish.”
Mr Moores, the man who had spent £250 on the cameras hidden in the shrubbery, told The Sun the police had seemed uninterested in the case throughout their ‘investigation’.
“We had to spoon-feed them the evidence and tell them what to do with it,” he said.
“Witnesses were lining up to give evidence but we were told they weren’t needed and information wasn’t followed up.
“It was embarrassing. All they had to do was get him charged and put before a court. They couldn’t even do that properly. The police showed no interest whatsoever. They just made a complete mess of it.”The question has to be asked - why are we funding them?