Dad says son’s life put at risk after group targets family with rocket after Dunmow fireworks

Dunmow Fireworks. Picture: Roger King

Dunmow Fireworks. Picture: Roger King - Credit: Archant

A father has said his young son’s life was put at risk by thugs who deliberately fired a rocket at his open car, parked on land near the recreation ground after Dunmow’s firework display on Saturday.

Now, the organisers, The Round Table have said they will ask the police to be present next year.

William Crawley’s wife, Paula was sitting in the front of the car and four-year-old Joseph was already in his child seat when the youths attacked them.

Mr Crawley, an IT consultant who lives in Great Dunmow, said at the time of the incident, the back of his Land Rover car was open as he changed out of his muddy boots.

He said: “We were one of the last to leave though there was still a queue of cars. Suddenly there was an almighty bang. These morons had let a firework banger off. A few minutes later they let another one off. It went across ground instead of going up and it came in my direction.

“Next thing, they had let a rocket off and this time it was directed at me. Fortunately, it missed me and our car by about a foot. Can you imagine the consequences had it gone into my car? I shouted at them at which point they all ran off laughing. There were at least 10 of them.”

He added: “I have to say it was one of the best displays we have been to and I would like to thank the Round Table, we had a great time up to that point. Had the event been policed, I do not think this would have happened. Unless such a large event is policed and the periphery properly watched we will not be coming to anymore firework displays in Great Dunmow. It’s not worth risking our son’s life for the sake of a few fireworks.”

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Mr Crawley said the youths seemed to have watched the display from outside the ground and then started to mess about with their own fireworks. They were not in the display area itself.

Thomas Johnson, the Round Table member who organised the fireworks, told the Broadcast: “We will ask the police to attend in future. We had 50 marshalls on site and they saw this incident. They made sure no one was hurt and they ensured that nothing similar was going to occur but the culprit legged it so we couldn’t apprehend them.

“We are very disappointed because 6,000 people enjoyed the display. We raised over £7,000 for community charities and we’ve had 40 emails from people thanking us for the evening. Without being able to raise this money we wouldn’t be able to help the people we do.”

A police spokesman said: “People should call the police immediately if they think they are in danger. It is important to report incidents otherwise we can’t investigate them.”