Family's plea after car torched at adventure site


Lois Hough

A DISTRAUGHT motorist has issued a plea for information after her off-road car was wrecked by arsonists.

The Ford Maverick belonging to Joanne Lloyd, 40, of Buckley, was set alight at the off-road driving centre site, Ultra Adventure Driving site in Halton, near Chirk, where it is parked permanently and driven on the weekends.

Joanne says her son Joseph, 12, and daughter Anya, nine, have been left ‘heartbroken’ by the attack, which took place on Saturday night.

She said: “The kids are absolutely devastated because they have lost their hobby.

“We go off-roading virtually every weekend but their prized possession has been lost because of a moment of madness by a couple of idiots.

“We saw the car on the Saturday and it was fine, but we went back on the Sunday and it was a burned-out wreck.

“We’re just lucky the ground was wet because it could have easily spread to the forest.”

Joanne’s car, which she had owned for a year, had only been parked at the Ultra site, on Dean Close, for a fortnight.

Childminder Joanne believes a discarded McDonald’s receipt holds the key to the culprits.

She said: “A farmer said he saw two young lads running away from the scene.

“When we got there the next day we found a receipt for a nearby McDonald’s, which said exactly what time these lads were served.

“If police can pull up the CCTV for that time then we have our culprits.”

Stuart Walker, owner of Ultra Adventure Driving, says the troublemakers were lucky not to have been killed.

He said: “The car had been left in a mudhole.

“It looks like they have forced open the tank to set it alight, but they could have got stuck in the mud while trying to run away.

“It was lucky the car was diesel and not petrol, else it would have gone straight up.”
Stuart is now stepping up security on the three-acre site.

He added: “This has come at the worst time.

“I have a health and safety inspection on Friday and they’re going to see the scorched grass, and we’ve got a stag party booked for Saturday which we will have one less vehicle for now.”

The incident has been reported to North Wales Police.

A spokesman for North Wales Police said: “We were called at 9.35am on Sunday about a burned out Ford Maverick in Chirk.

“Anyone with information can call 101.”

See full story in the Leader

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