Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bonfire Prosecution Dropped

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bonfire Prosecution Dropped

Article excerpt

THE case against a man being prosecuted for lighting a village green bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night has been dropped.

Brett Duxfield, 39, was due to face magistrates next week charged with breaking a by-law dating back to the 1800s.

The father-of-two was among scores of families who gathered on Elwick village green, near Hartlepool, to celebrate November 5 with their annual bonfire.

It is village tradition "entrenched in history" - but parish councillors banned the bonfire in 1994 after rowdy scenes which led to police being called.

For the last four years the tradition returned - although the ban was never officially lifted.

Parish council bosses threatened a clampdown, although villagers ignored their threats and carried on with the celebration on November 5 last year.

But a complaint was made to police and Mr Duxfield was arrested two days later, charged with criminal damage by fire for allegedly lighting the bonfire. …

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