Police issue CCTV image in hunt for arsonist who set fire to Land Rover outside Springwatch host Chris Packham’s New Forest home causing thousands of pounds of damage
- The TV presenter, 60, said a Land Rover was blown up by his home in October
- He claimed balaclava-clad thugs set the car ablaze, destroying his front gate
- Police have released a CCTV image of a man wanted in connection with ‘attack’
Police have released a CCTV image of a man wanted in connection with an arson attack at Chris Packham’s house.
The BBC Springwatch presenter, 60, said a Land Rover was blown up by balaclava-clad hate campaigners outside his New Forest house in October.
The gate of his remote Marchwood property was destroyed following the late-night explosion while the broadcaster was home alone in a move he branded ‘vicious’ and ‘cowardly’.
Police have released a CCTV image of a man wanted in connection with an arson attack at Chris Packham’s house
The BBC Springwatch presenter (pictured in October), 60, claimed that a Land Rover was blown up by balaclava-clad hate campaigners outside his New Forest house in October
Officers investigating the incident have today released an image of a dark-haired man getting out of a car wearing a black hoodie and jeans they want to speak to in connection with the alleged attack.
Hampshire Constabulary was called to Packham’s address in Hampshire at around 12.45am on October 8.
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘Police have been continuing to explore lines of enquiry to identify those responsible and have now believe that the man pictured may hold key information to their investigation.
‘We appreciate that the image is not the clearest, but do you know who this man is?
‘Any information, no matter how small or insignificant you feel it might be, could help aid our investigation and identify those who are responsible for this crime.’
The gate of his remote Marchwood property was destroyed following the late-night explosion (pictured)
Packham tweeted images of the CCTV footage capturing the incident near his home
At the time, Packham, 60, vowed not to ‘buckle’ or be ‘cowed’ in the face of an arson attack on his home.
The TV star, who has received death threats in the past for his animal activism, said: ‘Are they going to kill me at some point? I think it’s a fair question.’
‘I will not be cowed, I will not buckle. I cannot and will not let your intimidation sway me from my course.’
The attack – which took place at the home that Packham shares with partner Charlotte Corney and step-daughter Megan – destroyed two large wooden gates.
Describing the incident, he said: ‘So on Thursday night/Friday morning, 12.30am, two hooded and masked men drove a vehicle right up to my gate and set it on fire.
‘They were fully aware of the CCTV that was in place they took great pains to hide themselves. The car exploded and was rapidly and efficiently dealt with by Hampshire Fire and Rescue and the police were in attendance.
‘As ever they did a fantastic job but not before it had caused extensive damage to my property.’
The presenter of BBC’s Springwatch said that balaclava-clad thugs drove his car to his remote country home and set fire to it, before fleeing in a get-away vehicle
Packham – who in the past has had dead animals strung up at the gates of his home – speculated about who might be responsible.
‘This leaves me with some questions,’ he said. ‘Firstly who were these two men? Were they members of the RSPB? The Wildlife Trust? Butterfly Conservation? Bat Conservation Trust?
‘Were they members of the Countryside Alliance? The the British Association for Shooting and Conservation? Members of the hunt, perhaps?
‘Or were they some of my internet trolls who fill my timeline with hate? Defamatory comments, libellous comments, but lots of hate calculated to damage myself and my interest. I don’t know.’
Packham added: ‘All I can say is whoever you are – you burned down the wrong gates.
‘Because if you think…that I’m suddenly going to become a supporter of unsustainable or illegal shooting, or the unwarranted savagery wrought upon foxes in our countryside, then you’re wrong.’
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