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Traveller fined for park gate damage
A MAN has told a court he cut through a gate at Stanmer Park in Brighton was because he was trying to get his heavily pregnant wife to hospital.
Myles Smith pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage by cutting through the gate causing £50 of damage.
The 26-year-old traveller, who was representing himself at Brighton Magistrates’ Court yesterday, told magistrates his caravan was on the field.
He said the field was “mucky” and he could not drive out of any of the other park exits.
Smith, of Fairbridge Way in Burgess Hill, said: “I called park authorities to ask them to open the gate but I didn’t get a response and my wife needed medical attention – she had a boy last night.
Cut “I know we’re not supposed to tow on the park but I cut the gate to get out, not to get in.
“It wasn’t to gain entrance, as we were already in there.”
The court heard how on May 26 police arrived at Stanmer Park to find Smith cutting through the gate with an electric powered angle grinder.
The tool was being powered by a lead attached to one of the caravans.
Smith managed to cut all the way through the gate.
When approached by police officers, the court heard that Smith dropped the angle grinder and tried to run off.
Speaking after the case, Smith said: “We did ask to go on the Horsdean site last July and we didn’t get a spot.”
He added: “I’ve lived around Brighton all my life and we’ve got nowhere to live.
“There needs to be more places for travellers in Sussex and travellers should have more rights.”
Smith admitted one charge of criminal damage and was fined £450 for the offence.