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Skipping boxing champ is floored by police visit

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Junior boxing champ James Wignall has been floored by a police visit . . . for skipping in the street.

The 16-year-old revealed he was “staggered” after officers accused him of frightening a neighbour’s horses as he trained in the country lane outside his home.

“I thought it was a joke at first,” said James, who has won 14 of his 17 fights so far, including a North West title. “Two officers came out - just for that.”

The visit came on a Saturday evening - the busiest night of the week for Lancashire’s overstretched police force.

And it came just months after the county’s constabulary confessed they were they were no longer attending certain categories of crime including “routine” burglaries. Personal visits have now been replaced with telephone calls.

James, who is back in full training after taking time out of the ring for his GCSEs, regularly spends up to 45 minutes exercising with the rope outside his front door in Drinkhouse Road, Croston near Chorley.

Mum Carol declared: “It’s crazy. Surely the police have much better things to be doing on a Saturday night than chasing up a complaint like this.

“I couldn’t believe it when I opened the door and they were standing there. It’s not as if he is breaking the law.”

James, whose last fight was a victory over Tyson Fury’s cousin Walter, took to the street with his skipping rope because his garden is not big enough.

“You need a hard surface - grass is no good,” he said. “But I’ve been in the road skipping for years. It’s not as if I’ve just started.

“The horses were in a field opposite, behind a huge hedge. I wasn’t aware I was spooking them. There are tractors thundering down this lane and they don’t seem scared of those.

“I’m not making a lot of noise and, as far as I’m aware, it’s not against the law because this is a public highway.

“And it’s not like I’m just messing about. I’m serious about my sport. I’m back in the ring in September and my ambition is to turn professional one day. First I’m hoping to box for England and then Great Britain.”

Mum Carol added: “James has been boxing since he was eight. He’s been skipping in the street for all that time too. Then, completely out of the blue, we get a visit from two officers saying he’s been upsetting the horses across the road.

“I just find it bizarre. He’s a good boy and he is dedicated to his sport. It’s not as if he’s hanging around street corners at night.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: “Two officers made a reassurance visit to the address. They spoke to both parties involved and no further police action was deemed necessary.”

 

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