Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Top Gear copy-cat vandals tip three-wheeler over

Barry Cloughton with his Reliant Robin, which was twice tipped onto its side by vandals who, he says, were recreating a stunt performed on BBC motoring show Top Gear

Reliant Robin enthusiast Barry Cloughton blamed Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson after finding his beloved three-wheeled car flipped on its side.

The 78-year-old called Mr Clarkson “irresponsible” after his car was twice tipped over by vandals who were obviously recreating a stunt performed on the BBC motoring show.

Following the first incident Mr Cloughton was so distressed he needed medical treatment from paramedics.

Mr Cloughton's car was targeted just 48 hours after Clarkson was shown repeatedly tipping over a similar vehicle.

The first attack happened at 11.30pm on Sunday — less than three hours after Top Gear was broadcast on BBC2 from 8pm to 9pm.

During the attacks the car suffered a smashed wing mirror, scratched paint work and damage to one door which is beyond repair.

The total repair bill is at least £1,000.

Retired heating engineer Barry from St Austell in Cornwall, who has owned Robins for 40 years, says he believes the vandals were inspired by the episode of Top Gear.

Barry, a great-grandfather-of-five, has now branded Clarkson's stunts as “ridiculous, irresponsible and dangerous”.

He said: “Twice I found my car on its side in the driveway and whoever is doing this thinks it's funny, but it is very distressing.

“It all followed Top Gear where a car like mine was being flipped over. I think they saw the broadcast and that put the idea into their heads. It might all be a laugh for Mr Clarkson but believe me this is not funny for me — I've been vandalised and nearly ended up in hospital.”

A BBC spokesman said: “We do not condone the actions of those responsible for damaging the car.”

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