Armed gang in gypsy camp raid

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

A man died after a gang of up to 20 people – some from Doncaster and some with an array of weapons – descended on a travellers’ commune seeking ‘retribution’ for an incident at a fair, an inquest heard.

Sidney Cox, aged 57, suffered multiple injuries during the attack at Thorpe House Farm, on Middleton Lane in the village of Thorpe, near Leeds, on the evening of August 24.

An inquest was opened in Leeds where Det Chf Insp Jon Morgan, of West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major inquiry team, told coroner David Hinchliff he had been called to the farm following reports of an assault.

He said: “Thorpe House Farm is a small gypsy commune occupied by a number of families.

“An altercation had taken place earlier in the day at the Lee Gap fair in Tingley, which resulted in a group of men travelling from the Doncaster area with various weapons to seek retribution.

“A group of up to 20 people fought their way into the farm and Mr Cox was set upon by members of the group.”

A murder investigation was launched after Mr Cox died in the early hours the next day.

The inquest heard 17 people have been arrested.

Two men from Doncaster – John Edwards Nicholson, 24, of Little Lane, and Michael Valance Dear, 39, of Norton Common Road, Askern – have been charged with murder.

A third man, Ambrose Dear, 39, of Stocksbridge Lane, Bentley, is charged with conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

Mr Hinchliff adjourned the inquest pending the conclusion of criminal proceedings.