Wed, 31 Jan 2018
THE chaos as police officers tried to close down an illegal rave in Burghfield was recounted at Reading Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.
Up to 300 people are believed to have attended the unlicensed event in a field, with noise prompting complaints from surrounding homes and villages.
More than 50 police officers with dog units and a helicopter attended the scene on land between Burghfield Road and Berry’s Lane on Saturday, November 18.
Two of those arrested on the night appeared in the dock, where Hasrat Ali, prosecuting, said: “Police had ordered people to leave the site and repeated that order several times.”
Many people refused to leave, the court heard, and more people were still arriving in taxis.
As a result, magistrates were told, officers moved in with dogs.
Michael Richards, aged 29, from London Road, Reading, and 18-year-old Euan Bascombe-McCarthy, of Byworth Close, Reading, each admitted failing to leave the area when ordered in the early hours of November 19 last year.
Sally Thomson, defending both, said: “It was a very confused situation with a lot of people and a lot of pushing and shoving going on.
“Mr Richards ended up being bitten by a police dog and sustained some injuries.
“In the melee, he was knelt on and struck in the face.
“It wasn’t a very pleasant experience and I ask you to take that into account.”
Both men had initially denied the charge they faced because they wrongly believed police could only invoke the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 when 100 or more people were in the area and, when they were arrested, only 20 people had remained in the immediate vicinity.
The act became infamous for its attempt to define rave music as “sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”.
Presiding magistrate Nicola Buchanan-Dunlop told both men they would be made subject to a six-month conditional discharge.
In addition, they were each ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £20.