Tank ploughs through garden fence

It's an army tank fitted out for use in war zones like Afghanistan, where this summer it was used by the Light Dragoons in fierce fighting.But when it comes to a leisurely drive through Norfolk, this eight-tonne Spartan combat vehicle stood no chance on Monday morning when it smashed through a garden fence in Letheringsett, near Holt, damaging its tracked wheels.

IT'S an army tank fitted out for use in war zones like Afghanistan, where this summer it was used by the Light Dragoons in fierce fighting.

But when it comes to a leisurely drive through Norfolk, this eight-tonne Spartan combat vehicle stood no chance on Monday last week when it smashed through a garden fence in Letheringsett, damaging its tracked wheels.

To add insult to injury, the troops in charge of the rogue vehicle - marked up with learner plates - had to wait nearly six hours with it before it and they were taken away because the recovery vehicle also broke down.

Luckily for all involved no one was injured and the owners of the garden fence, Phil and Jayne Jones, took it all in good humour - as did a number of villagers who came out to see what was going on on the wet Monday morning.


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Mr Jones, who lives at the Old Rectory in Church Lane, said: "If we are going to have a vehicle going through our fence we would like to have a tank.

"Actually, strictly speaking it is a combat reconnaissance vehicle, tracked (CRV(T)), although people call it a people carrier.

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"The soldiers were a good band of brothers and dealt with it very well."

Mrs Jones said: "The best bit was that they had L plates on. That poor lad will never live it down."

Mr Jones, who was brought up in Reepham and runs the accommodation for Warwick and Coventry universities, said he thought they were on their way to Muckleborough, near Weyborne, where there is a training area.

"I think their colonel told them to be careful when

they set out," said Mr

Jones, who talked to the troops about their recent

time in Afghanistan.

The couple were given the details of who they should call for insurance purposes by the troops.

Mrs Jones, an opera singer, said she offered the soldiers a cup of tea while they waited for a recovery vehicle, but they said they had provisions.

The Spartan is a type of CRV(T) vehicle (combat vehicle reconnaissance tracked) used as an armoured personnel carrier.

It is just over 5m long and 2,24m wide and has a maximum speed on 80km per hour using a Jaguar 4.2litre engine.

It is normally armed with a 7.62mm machine gun.

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