POLICE CLOSE GAY LAYBYS; Pick-up point shut down after spate of homophobic attacks.
Byline: By ANNETTE KINSELLA firstname.lastname@example.org
TWO notorious lay-bys in Warwickshire used as a meeting point for gay men have finally been closed off after years of campaigning.
The laybys - one on the southbound carriageway carriageway
1. Brit the part of a road along which traffic passes in one direction: the westbound carriageway of the M4
2. of the A446 near to junction 4 of the M6, by Coleshill, and the other on the A452 near Little Packington Little Packington is a hamlet in the North Warwickshire district of the county of Warwickshire in England.
It is situated just to the north west of Great Packington and outside the boundaries of Packington Park. - have become notorious after acquiring a reputation as a pick-up point for sex.
Now police and Highways Agency bosses have closed the laybys for good.
Six years ago Lord and Lady Guernsey, who own the nearby Packington Hall Packington Hall is a 17th century mansion situated at Great Packington, near Meriden, Warwickshire, the seat of the Earl of Aylesford. It is a Grade II* listed building. estate, sprayed the top of their fences near the layby with manure in a bid to deter the "passing trade".
A Warwickshire Police Warwickshire Police is the Home Office police force responsible for policing Warwickshire in England. It was known as Warwickshire Constabulary until 2001. It is the second smallest territorial police force in the United Kingdom after the City of London Police, with only spokesman said: "Many people using the laybys have been victims of serious assaults, robbery and blackmail.
"Their vehicles have been damaged and they have been subjected to violent hate crime because they are gay or perceived to be gay by their attackers.
"This has led to a number of indiscriminate attacks against people who have stopped at the laybys and have been mistakenly taken as users of the site."
Lord and Lady Guernsey complained the ground was littered with condoms, lager cans and empty smoke- staining bottles, believed to be used for smoking cannabis.
The roadside fence was also trampled down by men eager to indulge in sexual encounters in the woods.
An undercover investigation revealed that dozens of men from across the country were parking up in the layby every day.
Speaking at the time, estate manager Nick Barlow said: "I don't care whether it is gay men or heterosexual couples using the woods but it is pretty disgusting that families might encounter any of this."
CLOSURE: The layby on the southbound carriageway of the A446, near Coleshill. Picture: RICHARD NELMES