BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham has shared the terrifying moment his house in the New Forest was firebombed leading to his car to explode
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Chris Packham has spoken about the terrifying moment his home was firebombed in an attack which also saw his car explode.
The 60-year-old animal activist and BBC Springwatch presenter has told how his family was terrorised by the incident, when his country house in Hampshire’s New Forest was targeted by arsonists, last October.
Appearing on BBC’s Crimewatch Live, the TV star spoke about the ordeal: “Myself and the dogs went to bed, rather early for us just before midnight and then shortly after 12.30am there was an enormous explosion.
“That was the first I knew of the incident. The car had clearly exploded.
“The bang was tremendous, the dogs flew off of the bed and started yelping and barking straight away.”
He continued: “Where I live, we’re not prone to any loud interruptive noises at night so it was quite startling.
“And then, of course, it came to pass that this vehicle had been parked outside the gate and was ablaze – thankfully attended by the fire service and the police.
“They managed to douse the flames that had by that stage really destroyed the gates, damaged a lovely old tree which obviously saddened me as well.
“It wasn’t until the morning that we were able to fully asses the damage.
“The car was completely burned out. It got so hot that the engine lock had melted.”
Chris had previously described the incident at the home he shares with partner Charlotte Corney and step-daughter Megan as an “inferno” and a “vicious, cowardly act”.
At the time, Chris insisted: “I will not be cowed, I will not buckle
“I cannot and will not let your intimidation sway me from my course.”
It was not the first time that his house had been targeted, with thugs hanging dead animals across his gates which led to Chris hitting out at the lack of action being taken against those who are committing these offences.
Chris said: “I wonder about the internet trolls because they get away with it.
“Despite working effectively with the police, the law as it stands means I am unable to take any action against this form of harassment.
“But it is hate crime. There’s no ambiguity about that. It’s a little unfair that when black footballers receive unwarranted and appalling hate crime the issue can be dealt with and that’s great of course and I support that fully.
“But when environmentalists like myself receive similarly hateful torrents of relentless abuse nothing can be done about it. Because ultimately it comes at a cost.
“Perhaps the cost was having my gate burnt down causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. And of course it’s not the first action that we have seen here. Dead animals are a frequent occurrence.
“But now it’s escalated because they’ve taken to damaging that property and I wonder where it’s going. I mean what happens next?
“Do they going to burn the house down, are they going to beat up my step-daughter? Are they going to cut the brake lines on my partner’s car?
“Or do they come for me directly? Are they going to kill me at some point? I think it’s a fair question.”
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