The home of a convicted paedophile has been completely demolished by a JCB
digger in a suspected vigilante attack.
Stephen Fuller, 31, who was caught with 4,352 indecent photographs and 175 sick
videos in 2008, had lived in the timber-framed house called ‘The Hall’.
But vandals completely destroyed the property in Henley, Somerset, with a
13-ton digger after he moved out to live with his mother and stepfather at
their farm nearby.
Police arrested businessman and neighbour Sid Cowling, 31, who is involved in a
planning dispute with Fuller’s parents, after the digger involved was found on
But Cowling, who was released on police bail while investigations continue,
claims he ”would not be so stupid” as to carry out such an obvious attack.
He said: ”I hate the fact there is a paedophile in the village. I’ve got a
young son and another child on the way. There are a lot of young families here.
”There must be hundreds of people locally who could be suspects as no-one in
their right mind is going to be happy about someone like this living here.
”But I run a business and I’m not going to jeopardise that by doing something
”The excavator was left by the gateway to my property and the first I knew
about it was when I saw the collapsed building at around 7am on Saturday.
”I am number one suspect because I don’t like the family and do have a
grievance over planning. But I would not be so stupid as to take a digger from
my own driveway to do this.”
Former gas engineer Fuller admitted sick child porn offences in January last
year but walked free from Taunton Crown Court with a nine month suspended jail
He had lived at The Hall in Henley, Somerset, but moved home to the nearby farm
owned by his mother Sheila Lloyd and stepfather Andrew Lloyd.
The Lloyds have been involved in a long-running planning dispute with Cowling
after claiming his tractor renovation business made is too much noise.
Council officers visited Cowling’s property to investigate the complaint on April 30 just hours before Fuller’s house was destroyed.
The digger used in the attack was stolen from Cowling’s driveway after it was
left there by a contractor who had carried out some drainage work for him.
Andrew, 53, who was born in the destroyed house, discovered the damage,
believed to have been caused by the JCB’s bucket at 6.20am on Saturday morning.
He said: ”I was absolutely shocked. It was as though a bomb had hit the
building. It is fortunate that no-one was living there, but whoever did this
could not have been certain that no-one was inside.
”There might have been squatters for all they knew. It is outrageous that
someone can do such a thing. We don’t know what is coming next.
”The building was built by my wife’s grandmother as a village hall 70 years
ago, then evacuees were housed there. I was born there myself but it has been
empty for some time.
”We believe there have been breaches of planning conditions of Mr Cowling’s
business because the number of lorries going in and out and the hours of work
affect the amenity of my elderly mother who live nearby.”
Cowling was arrested by police following the attack and has now been bailed
pending further enquiries.
A police spokesman said: ”Police are investigating the possibility that this
incident may be connected to a long-running planning dispute between two
families in the area.
”One man has been arrested in connection with the incident and has been
released on bail pending further enquiries.”