Two Cambridge residents have been convicted of criminal damage and assault after attacking a £7,000 boat near to Peterhouse Boat Club on July 24 last year. Reece Gibson, 24, and Laura Moore, 23, were seen moving the boat from outside the building, dropping it on the floor and attempting to board the vessel. It is alleged that they were attempting to take it for a joyride.
But the situation turned nasty when Rob Roy Boat Club coach Enya Meadows attempted to stop the pair in the act. Meadowes, who had also coached the Selwyn College teams before her involvement with Rob Roy, the most successful of the non-university clubs in Cambridge, couldn’t have known what sort of situation she was getting herself into as she saw them in front of the Peterhouse Boat Club, opposite the Fort St George pub. As she approached them, telling Gibson to get out of the boat, Moore suddenly punched her in the stomach and tackled her to the ground. Ms Meadowes told Cambridge News, “I was really shocked.”
The pair also allegedly removed the boat from the rack, peeled off its cover and dropped it, causing significant damage to the high-quality skull. They ended up in the water, according to Ms Meadowes, but this claim was rejected by Ms Moore. At her trial, Moore claimed that Mr Gibson had thrown her handbag into the boat and she only approached it in order to retrieve it. Earlier in the day, the pair admitted to visiting Jesus Green Lido, which explains their drenched appearance, but denied a dip in the Cam.
The trial also featured a counter-claim by Ms Moore, who alleged that it was in fact Meadowes behaving aggressively. However, the magistrate arbitrating dismissed this out of hand, awarding her a community sentence, a fine of £100 in costs and ordering her to pay £150 compensation to her victim, who was left bruised and shaken by the experience.
As well as these standard sentences, Moore must attend a “thinking skills programme”, plus ten days of education, training and employment.
Davina Moss – News Reporter