Holt town councillors raise concerns after poison pen writer remains a mystery

PUBLISHED: 09:33 16 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:33 16 July 2014

Holt town centre. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Holt town centre. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Town leaders are concerned the police warning for the man who wrote the Holt poison pen letters could set a precedent for future offenders.

Fears that innocent people were being accused of being the writer after police would not release the name of the man responsible were raised by members of Holt Town Council.

Sgt Damon Money spoke to councillors at the public meeting last night and said the most appropriate action was taken with the writer of the letters , a man in his 70s from the town.

The writer admitted sending 10 letters, three of which were of concern to officers and were sent to a local organisation but did not contain threats.

Sgt Money said: “Based on the nature of the letters and the wishes of the organisation and regarding the sender, there is absolutely no possibility of putting this person before a court based on what he has done so far. We cannot name that person without charging him.

“Naming that person would make them vulnerable to other repercussions. It would put an additional drain on police resources and other agencies.

“Guidance dictates I shouldn’t be naming that person. I accept people’s frustration and there may be some people who are wrongly accused but this is always the case in an emotive crime.”

He added the writer was left in no doubt of the consequences if he sent more anonymous documents.

Sgt Money said he knew the name of the letter writer when the public appeal for information was released by the police last month.

It was launched after a local organisation contacted Norfolk police after receiving “rude and inappropriate” handwritten letters.

“The concern was the nature of the letters and the welfare of the sender,” Sgt Money said.

The appeal was sent out to find out if there were any other victims and everyone affected by the letters has been contacted by the police.

Michael Baker, UKIP county and district councillor, said: “Because the police put the appeal into the public domain it has been blown out of proportion. There are people nattering in corner shops. People are potentially being tarred with the same brush as the letter writer, quite unfairly, but the person who wrote the letters has got away with it.

“It maybe unfortunate for the letter writer if he is named but a certain percentage of the population should not have to suffer because someone got it wrong.”

Town councillor Andy Turner said the lack of criminal action against the writer could set a precedent and make others think they could send poison pen letters and not be charged.

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