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Anger in Thorpe St Andrew after rave court charges are dismissed

09:28 10 July 2014

The former Pinebanks Sports and Social Club, Thorpe St Andrew, where police were called to close down an illegal rave. Photo: Steve Adams

The former Pinebanks Sports and Social Club, Thorpe St Andrew, where police were called to close down an illegal rave. Photo: Steve Adams

People caught up in a riot in Thorpe St Andrew as people tried to get to an illegal rave last November asked today whether anyone would face justice, after the case against a man charged with organising the event was dropped.

On November 16, police were called to close down an illegal rave at the former Pinebanks sports and social club in Thorpe St Andrew.

A police helicopter was summoned, and police using riot shields prevented the mob from forcing their way into the former leisure centre.

Twelve people were arrested and a police officer was injured.

Joshua Tubby, 19, from The Common, Mulbarton, was charged with attempting to stage the event. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was due to appear for a trial at Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

But the case was dismissed, and a spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service in the East of England said: “In this case the CPS received a material statement after the first court hearing but before the trial.

“This was disclosed to the defence who did not accept this new piece of evidence.

“We were unable to secure the attendance of the witness at court on the day of trial and so were unable to proceed with the trial.”

After the riot, residents spoke of their terror as hordes of people
tried to enter the rave and
threatened to overwhelm police before hurling bottles and vandalising police cars.

Raymond Howard, who lives near the derelict site, said at the time that he had to take shelter in the home of a neighbour, while police parked cars in their driveways to deter attacks on their property.

Mr Howard said that he would be “disgusted” if no-one faced justice.

He added: “We are going silly in this country and are being too soft. It would be disgusting if no-one faced justice for what happened. All of us living this way would feel the same way.

“Our evening last November was disrupted as hundreds of people were trying to get to the rave.

“They were like rats trying to get over the fences. I had to mend my fence afterwards.

“Police told me to get indoors, not to come out, and I was told they would do their best to protect our properties. It was really scary.”

What is your memory of that night? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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