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Illegal Ravers Causes £1,000 Worth Of Damage At 500-Year-Old Church

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Illegal Ravers Causes £1,000 Worth Of Damage At 500-Year-Old Church

Illegal rave goers have trashed a 500-year-old church causing an estimated £1,000 worth of damage.

Police in Essex closed down the illegal New Year's Eve party at the Grade II listed building, despite being pelted with missiles.

However, before the revellers were moved on, they'd already managed to cause extensive damage.

Images shared by Essex Police show litter and broken glass left behind at All Saints Church in East Horndon, while a volunteer from a conservation group says the group had smashed a window to install an extractor fan unit.

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Credit: Essex Police
Credit: Essex Police

Astrid Gillespie, who volunteers with Friends of All Saints, told the Sun she's still 'trying to get her head around' the news having learnt about the illegal rave on Facebook.

She told the newspaper: "I went up there and the police were still there packing up the equipment that they seized.

"There were hundreds of people there, it sounded like it was a ticketed event. It was a professional set-up, they'd hired Portaloos - they're still there."

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Astrid added: "They've done damage to the church, obviously it's a mess and needs to be completely cleaned out.

"The ground has been all churned up because they must have had vans dropping off all the equipment."

Credit: Essex Police
Credit: Essex Police

Because the church is a listed building with heritage status, Astrid warned it was 'not going to be cheap' to fix and said locks will also need to be replaced.

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Astrid said: "The vicar is going to organise a preliminary clean-up but it's a huge task and we're estimating £1,000 but it could well be more.

"I love the place, it's such a beautiful church, and to find out it's been damaged is devastating, I'm just trying to get my head around it.

"You wake up in the new year and think 'new year, new me' and then you've got to deal with all this."

Credit: Essex Police
Credit: Essex Police
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Essex Police said officers were pelted with missiles as they attempted to move crowds on, but were still able to disperse the partygoers before midnight.

Officers seized music equipment from the gathering and three men - aged 22, 27 and 35 - were arrested on drug charges and public order offences.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: "Unfortunately, there were others who decided to blatantly flout the coronavirus rules and regulations and, ultimately, they decided that partying was more important than protecting other people."

Police in Essex handed out £18,000 in fines to party organisers across the county last night.

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Featured Image Credit: Essex Police

Topics: UK News, crime

Claire Reid
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