Trip wire booby trap is death risk
Buy this photo » Les Marshallsay with the fishing line found at the path in Old Town
WIRE being tied across the path of a popular running route is turning the area into a potential death trap for joggers and cyclists who approach it at speed.
The old railway line leading from Mannington Retail Park to the Signal Trading Estate has been targeted by people stringing up thin fishing wire tight across the track, which could be lethal in low light.
Luckily one jogger, Les Marshallsay, 55, of Markenfield, came across the booby trap while running early on Monday evening, and dismantled the wire before it caused anybody real harm.
“I was out running in Toothill from Mannington Roundabout up towards the Signal Trading Estate,” he said.
“There were two runners out in front of me who stopped, because they saw that someone had tied fishing wire tightly across the old railway in several places.
“The two runners had leggings on which prevented them from having nasty injuries.”
Les and the other runners took the wire down before it injured anyone, and he is now warning other joggers of the dangers.
“We broke the wire and put it into a safe place,” Les added. “We couldn’t cut it with our hands, so I got a piece of flint and sawed through it.
“When I get to the Signal Trading Estate I usually slow down, so I am lucky I guess. If anyone had been going at speed they might not have seen it.
“When we were clearing the wire away from the path we were talking to a passing dog walker who told us it was not the first time that had happened. We shoved the wire down behind one of the trees, and noticed there was an entire reel left there.
“I want to warn people to be on their guard and to be cautious when running down that path.
“The window of opportunity for anyone to do this must have been very small because there are lots of runners and joggers down there.
“I flagged down a couple of runners who were picking up pace, and that would not have ended well for them at that speed. It is not just runners either. If a dog was running down there it would not have had a chance.”
Andy Bird, chairman of the Swindon Striders Running Club, said the wire posed a real danger to cyclists using the route.
“This is a nice long track, about two miles long, and it is very popular for cyclists, runners and dog walkers,” said Andy.
“It is a huge danger, especially to cyclists, because they are going to be hitting the wire at some speed and it is a popular route for them.
“We as a club will not be able to run up there much longer as the darker nights are on their way, and that would make it more difficult for us to see.”
A police spokesman said: “Wiltshire Police were contacted on September 3 to reports of fishing wire being found across the cycle path close to Mill Lane.
“The local Neighbourhood Policing Team has been tasked with investigating this incident.
“If anyone notes anything suspicious, they should contact their local NPT on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.”
Kate recalls scar horror
THE PERILS of razor wire are still felt keenly by 45-year-old mum Kate Henery, who needed 20 stitches to her face when she cycled into a five-foot high wire in Gorse Hill in 2006.
Kate was flung from her bike by the impact of the wire, which had been tied from a tree, and she said she was lucky to be alive.
The mum-of-three had taken her youngest son to a music festival at the Oasis Leisure Centre, and had been riding through St Mark’s Rec with seven-year-old Fergus during the evening.
The wound narrowly missed her eye, and Kate has been scarred for life after her ordeal. She was treated at Great Western Hospital where they found the wire had cut through to the bone.
After the incident, Kate said: “I’m very lucky. If I had been up on the pedals it could have got my throat. It could have been a lot worse.
“Don’t ask me who would do such a thing as to string wire across a path used by cyclists. I really don’t know. It just leaves you speechless.”
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