Farmer's tractor rampage

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The Independent Online
AN ENRAGED beef farmer caused chaos in his village when he went on the rampage in his tractor, damaging a house, several cars and a fire engine. He also brought down overhead power lines and nearly impaled a policewoman.

Andrew Slack, whose trail of destruction plunged the Derbyshire village of Dalbury into darkness and caused damage costing thousands of pounds, was stopped only when police marksmen fired shots into the tractor tyres. Three policemen suffered minor injuries and a woman officer had to be pulled through a hedge to avoid being impaled on the hay baling spikes.

Police were called after the 36-year-old farmer, who was suffering from stress, destroyed a neighbour's house wall by driving through it in his tractor. A fire crew was sent out after Mr Slack brought down overhead cables, cutting electricity and telephone supplies to the village. Mr Slack drove the tractor straight at the fire engine, ramming it several times and ripping off the front.

About 20 officers tried to stop Mr Slack but he pursued them down the road. PC Chris Fearn, who sprayed him with CS, said: "It did not affect him - but it did me, and I collapsed on the ground." A police spokesman said yesterday that Mr Slack was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. It was not known whether any criminal charges would be brought.