Vandals cause £1m in damage to wealthy MP's estate

Attack allegedly occurred just hours after Mr Benyon was told he had been sacked as Government minister

A Conservative MP has said vandals caused £1m in damage to his country estate by wrecking three aircrafts, damaging buildings and causing his horses to bolt onto the A4.

The attack allegedly occurred just hours after Richard Benyon was told he had been sacked from his position as a Government minister on 7 October.

A 29-year-old man from Slough is being questioned by Thames Valley Police in connection with the incident. He has been bailed until 18 November.

The Conservative MP for Newbury said his Englefield House estate, located between Newbury and Reading, has been "plagued" for years by gangs running illegal hare coursing events.

According to The Daily Telegraph he has previously suffered thefts and acts of vandalism but had never seen damage to his property at this scale.

The vandals allegedly drove a Jeep into three aircraft, causing his horses to escape their padlock.

Mr Benyon told The Telegraph: “The horses were running up and down the A4 - the vehicle had smashed into the aircraft, pushing one into the buildings, and it then crashed through gates and across fields.”

Peter Ford, of Upper Basildon, near Reading owns one of the planes and told the paper that he had been left "gobsmacked" and "stunned" by the damage. He said the planes were worth an estimated £700,000.

“They left bits of the car embedded in the planes. They were completely trashed with the wings almost detached", he said.

“Our plane is like a vintage car - we spent a lot of time, love and money to keep it going and there's only half a dozen in the UK. They're no longer in production.”

Police confirmed confirmed aircrafts were discovered "with significant damage to them" and were vandalised at Englefield on Monday night by a vehicle that had been driven into them.

Mr Benyon was appointed to Minister at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in 2010.

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