Villagers fight to free 'heroes'

VILLAGERS in Dickleburgh, Norfolk, promised yesterday to fight to overturn five-year jail sentences imposed on two 'local heroes' who tried to frighten a teenager they suspected of theft and vandalism.

Locals who condemned the sentences as 'a travesty' are to join residents of nearby Harleston and of Horham, Suffolk, in a campaign for the release of Duncan Bond and Mark Chapman.

Bond, 35, a builder from Harleston, and Chapman, 29, an engineer from Horham, were jailed on Wednesday after admitting kidnapping and threatening Gavin Last, 17. Norwich Crown Court heard that the pair took the law into their own hands after mini-motorcycles that Bond had bought for his sons, Oliver, 10, and Nicholas, four, were stolen.

The theft was in one of a series of break-ins near Dickleburgh. The defence said that Gavin Last was part of a gang of 'troublemakers' and Bond and Chapman believed he had information about the theft. After tracking him to his home they bundled him into their van, tied his hands behind his back and threatened to knife him or douse him in petrol and set him alight. He was dumped unharmed after 20 minutes.

Today, Bond's wife, Glynne, 34, will meet Chapman's parents, Jenny and Brian, and Nick Yandell, a garage owner from Harleston, to draw up a plan to present to angry villagers at a meeting tomorrow. Hundreds of people are expected to attend.

Mr Yandell said: 'The phone hasn't stopped ringing. We've had hundreds of calls, some even from abroad. People want to give money so that we can hire a lawyer. You know, we are innocents when it comes to the law but we are determined that we will succeed.' Bond and Chapman have appealed against the sentences.

Villagers in Dickleburgh say they are fighting not just for two 'honest and respectable' men who stood up to local 'thugs' but for the soul of their community. Hedgie Algar, 49, Bond's best friend, said: 'They only did what we had been talking about doing for a long time. If they hadn't done it, sooner or later someone else would. They should get a medal, not five years.'

Villagers blame the children of two families for a wave of petty crime, including shoplifting, the theft of cars and car radios, and vandalism.

Mr Algar explained: 'It had just got out of hand in the past few years. They normally picked on the vulnerable but they chose the wrong guy with Bondy. Taking those bikes was like taking his kids' lives away. He begged the police to do something about it, but they didn't seem to be able to.

'This is our village. I was born here and I will die here. It's the country - you expect to be allowed to live in peace. We want our village back.'

The children of one of the families blamed for much of the 'trouble' yesterday admitted they had had a 'wild past' but insisted that they had reformed. One of them said: 'I used to do things - car radios, shoplifting - for the money and because there was nothing to do. But I haven't done anything in the last year.'

He insisted that he and other youngsters had never committed crimes in Dickleburgh and blamed recent incidents on 'outsiders'. Most villagers dismiss such claims.

Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
Life and Style
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Directory, ITIL, Reuter)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice