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Jail and Bail for pillars of community

PUBLISHED: 10:05 20 August 2010 | UPDATED: 10:04 16 September 2010

A NUMBER of normally respectable community figures found themselves arrested for crimes including impersonating the queen, stealing a bushel of wheat and frightening children.

A NUMBER of normally respectable community figures found themselves arrested for crimes including impersonating the queen, stealing a bushel of wheat and frightening children.

The group of seven prominent personalities were bundled down King's Street in Thetford towards the Guildhall, as crowds of onlookers booed and jeered.

Thankfully for them however, their “arrests” were all in the name of charity and once incarcerated inside the building their job was to raise as much money as possible for St Nicholas Hospice.

The charity, which provides care and support to people in West Suffolk and Thetford living with terminal and life-threatening illnesses, will put the money towards its care services.

The hospice treats approximately 2,000 people each year including patients, family and friends, with around 320 people in the hospice's care at any one time and needs about £10,000 per day just to keep going.

Committee member of the Friends of St Nicholas Hospice, Pam Goveia, who organised the event, said: “I didn't have to threaten anybody, they all agreed to take part and came up trumps for me. The charity is about having fun and living life to the full so the fundraising should reflect that.”

Those who took part included curator of the town's Ancient House Museum Oliver Bone who was charged with stealing money, a bushel of wheat, and a parcel of tea (which received the death penalty in 1737), Captain Mainwaring lookalike Mick Whitman for embezzlement, Canon Bob Baker for drunkenness, Corinne Brindle for stealing sheep and Dot Haggardy for impersonating the queen and frightening children,

Mr Whitman said: “I was told I would be handcuffed and I haven't been so I'm quite relieved. It was all for a good cause but I'm not guilty, that's the thing.”

PC Keith Kenny, who escorted the “prisoners” alongside PC Dave Allison, said: “We were delighted to be involved in this community event and we hope that the fundraising team raised lots of money for the local charity.”


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