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CCTV image released in connection with arson attack at New Forest home of TV naturalist Chris Packham



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POLICE have released a CCTV image of a man they want to find nearly three months after an arson attack at naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham’s New Forest home.

People are urged to come forward if they recognise the man pictured as officers continue to investigate the incident in which a blaze involving a vehicle spread to Mr Packham’s gate and fence at Ipley, Marchwood, around 12.45am on Friday 8th October.

As reported in the A&T, the Winterwatch presenter had claimed two masked men drove up to his gates and set them alight before fleeing.

CCTV image of a man police want to speak to over the attack
CCTV image of a man police want to speak to over the attack

Branding the attack a “vicious and cowardly act”, he said they caused an “explosion” and extensive damage running into thousands of pounds.

Mr Packham believed this was the latest in a series of incidents in which he was targeted for his strong stance against illegal hunting.

Previously, dead foxes, badgers and birds have been dumped on his property and in April 2019 he reported receiving a note containing a death threat.

TV naturalist Chris Packham
TV naturalist Chris Packham

A challenge by Wild Justice, a campaign group he co-founded, has been calling for Natural England to tighten up its policy around shooting licences for 16 species.

Mr Packham remained defiant, releasing a video on Twitter in which he vowed to continue campaigning against fox hunting and bird shooting and called on supporters to ramp up their lobbying of countryside authorities.

Releasing the CCTV image, a Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson explained officers had been exploring lines of enquiry to identify the offenders and now believed the man pictured could hold key information.

Chris Packham's burnt gates at his home near Marchwood (photo: Chris Packham)
Chris Packham's burnt gates at his home near Marchwood (photo: Chris Packham)

“We appreciate that the image is not the clearest, but do you know who this man is?” the spokesperson said.

“Any information, no matter how small or insignificant you feel it might be, could help aid our investigation and identify those who are responsible for this crime.”

Those with information should contact officers on 101, quoting crime reference number 44210403698, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.



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