Arrest after vehicle damages three planes at Englefield airfield

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Media captionAll three planes have been written off as a result of the damage

A man has been arrested after three light aircraft were vandalised at an airfield near Reading.

Thames Valley Police said it appeared a vehicle was driven into the Cessna single engine planes in Englefield.

The three planes have been written off as a result of the damage, estimated by the owners at up to £700,000.

A Jeep Grand Cherokee was discovered set alight nearby, in Bath Road. A 29-year-old man arrested in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, has been bailed.

Buildings at the airfield were also damaged by the planes being pushed into them.

Hare coursing

Police said the planes were a 50 vintage type, a four-seater piston-powered plane and a six-seater light business plane.

The damage was discovered by estate staff shortly after 07:00 BST. They had been told that animals had escaped onto the nearby A4, and found a gate had been forced open.

David Wiggins, gamekeeper at the Englefield Estate, said: "We're pretty sure they were in after hares.

"We've got a lot of problems with hare coursing.

"Not just coursing, but just driving the animals over, running them over, flattening them.

"That's what it started as I guess and then it turned into this damage we've got here."

Peter Ford, owner of the 50 vintage type said: "The guys obviously came with this four-wheel drive, pushed the aircraft into the back of the barn and then came again."

He said his plane's wing had been "snapped off".

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