Police make new appeal for sightings of vehicles and suspect after arson attack on TV naturalist Chris Packham's Ipley home
POLICE probing an arson attack at naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham’s New Forest home have renewed their appeal for information more than five months on.
A new CCTV image of one of the vehicles believed to have been involved has been released, along with a re-released image of a suspect officers want to find.
As reported in the A&T, Winterwatch presenter Mr Packham said two masked men drove up to the gates of his property in Ipley and set them alight before fleeing the scene in the early hours of Friday 8th October.
Two vehicles are thought to have been used in the attack, including a Land Rover Discovery which had been stolen in nearby Marchwood around 11pm that night.
DI Howard Broadribb said this 4x4 then made its way in convoy to Mr Packham’s address along with a silver Mitsubishi Shogun which had been purchased in Somerset earlier that day.
“At around 12.30am the Land Rover Discovery is seen ablaze outside an address in Ipley, causing damage to a front gate and tree, before CCTV captured a person fleeing the scene,” DI Broadribb continued.
“Our enquiries have led to us wanting to identify anyone who may have seen a Mitsubishi Shogun being transported on a Ford Transit low loader between Somerset and Southampton – carrying the number plate BU06 HDY – during the day on Thursday 7th October and whether they can give a description of the driver or whether there were passengers in the vehicle.
“Likewise, we would like to identify a man who was seen to be filling up the Mitsubishi Shogun at a petrol forecourt at around 7pm on Thursday 7th October on Castle Lane West in Bournemouth. Perhaps you have seen the vehicle since or know of its whereabouts.”
At the time, Mr Packham branded the attack a “vicious and cowardly act”, saying the offenders caused an “explosion” and extensive damage running into thousands of pounds.
He believed it was the latest in a series of incidents in which he was targeted for his strong stance against illegal hunting.
Dead foxes, badgers and birds had been dumped on his property, and in April 2019 he reported receiving a note containing a death threat.
Those with information should contact Hampshire police on 101, quoting crime reference number 44210403698, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.