Asian hornet snatch-team kidnaps Bailiff!
Terror on the streets of Jersey as Bailiff, Sir William Baillache, is kidnapped by Asian hornets at knifepoint
There was terror on the streets of Jersey yesterday when the Bailiff, Sir William Baillache, was kidnapped by Asian hornets as he purchased Eccles cakes from a celebrated bakery in Five Oaks.
Detective superintendent Eileen Couch addressed a morning press briefing: ‘This is obviously a dreadful incident. Our thoughts now are with the Baillaches. We are working tirelessly to try to achieve the best possible outcome to all this. I am proud of my officers, who, after the first phone call came in yesterday, were in attendance at the scene within 46 minutes.’ ‘We believe there to have been five attackers - who are described as having stocky and thin builds, thin and thick legs, large eyebrows and bulging eyes’. ‘The motive for the kidnapping is as yet unknown.’ ‘Family liaison officers and specialist negotiators are with the Baillaches now, who have asked that the media respect their privacy at this difficult time.’
The ambush occurred just after 4pm in the doorway of La Maison Gourmande bakery in Five Oaks high street.
Jill Coutanche, who was walking down Bagatelle road, described what happened. ‘I saw him, Mr Baillache, in the doorway, clasping four or five brown paper bags close to his chest. He seemed to be sharing a joke with the lady behind the counter. All of a sudden there was shouting, then a flash, and that’s when the van screamed up outside.’ ‘Someone threw the doors open from inside the vehicle. It was one of those big wasps in the back. There was a tussle, then the ones outside pushed him inside, and then they were gone; roaring off up the hill….’ ‘You just don’t expect to see that sort of thing around here’
The attackers sped off in the direction of Maufant in a white Ford Transit Connect van, that was later found burnt out in St Martyn’s church car park, and that was later reported stolen from Motor Mall.
Heather Sampson, who works in St Martyn’s tea rooms described events. ‘I heard the distant whining of an engine, then it got louder and louder and louder, then I saw a lady jumping out of the road with her dog, then I saw a white flash down past Checkers, then I heard the screeching of tyres, a loud crash, then doors slamming.’ ‘I didn’t think anything of it.’ ‘It was only when I realised that the occupants had set fire to it, that I realised it mightn’t be the postman’
There is a £500 reward being offered for information leading to the capture and successful conviction of the assailants. Members of the public are urged to call the police’s incident room between 8.30am and 5pm, Mon to Friday, on: 612612