Cult camper in machete arrest

Police arrest machete-wielding Father Christmas-lookalike just off footpath to campus.

A grubby, homeless Santa Claus-lookalike has been arrested at his camp close to Exeter’s main campus for the possession of offensive weapons, including a machete.

Police with dogs were called yesterday morning after reports of a man wielding a machete near the Streatham campus.

The unnamed oddball, 63, was found to be in possession of a host of bladed tools including axes, saws, knives and a machete.

The homeless man is thought to have set up a camp in the wooded area off the public footpath between Velwell Road and Prince of Wales Road. Many students use the path, only dimly lit at night, as a route to University.

Disgustingly, when police approached the man he was in the middle of defecating.

Witnessing the arrest, The Tab also saw what appeared to be a syringe being taken off the camper.

An officer present during the arrest told The Tab the police have been watching the man for a long time, but have not had any grounds on which to arrest him.

The police expressed concern regarding the man’s mental health, but said he did not seem to be a danger to the public.

Entrance to the public footpath at the top of Velwell Road

The arrest took place at the entrance to the public footpath at the top of Velwell Road, an area of student housing.

The beardy weirdy has been somewhat of a cult hero around campus for several years. Exeter graduate Andrew Taggart, who lived in Hope Hall, told The Tab: “In my first year a mate of mine got in trouble with campus security for dressing up as that guy. He’s been around forever and used to just wander round the outside of my halls.”

In a statement, the police said: “At 9.30am [on] Wednesday 7 November 2012 police attended the footpath in Velwell Road, Exeter, near to the university cricket pitch following reports of a man with a machete. Officers, including a dog handler attended and spoke with him and found that he was in possession of a number of bladed tools, including axes, saws and the machete.

“These were siezed by police and a 63 year old man was arrested. He is presently detained at Exeter Police Station. No members of the public were threatened by the man and no one was injured. Police are reminding people to report any suspicious behaviour to them at the time it is happening and are pleased that this call was made.”

  • Exe

    Of course he has bladed tools, how else is he going to build his elaborate forts!?!

  • Anonymous

    Very distasteful report. I find your choice of adjectives quite offensive, describing a homeless person as ‘grubby’ and a ‘beardy weirdy’ is abhorrent. I’m disappointed in The Tab for publishing such garbage.

    • Matt Stephens

      He is the sort of human should have wiped out by natural selection, utter filth to society.

  • exe

    This isn't journalism, this is bullying.

  • Anonymous

    Immature journalism right there (if you can call that journalism).

  • Anon

    Seriously 'anonymous' chill out. If you want serious breaking news stories with more p.c. adjectives then don't read the Tab, it's meant to be a bit of fun and you're obviously missing the point. It's called an having an opinion so if you find a word like 'grubby' offensive then go and read the FT or something more high brow instead. To be fair he probably is a bit grubby if he isn't fortunate enough to have a house.

  • Anonymous

    I've lived near this man for over a year and have never felt threatened by him. I find the Tab's representation of him tasteless and unnecessary. He isn't causing harm to anyone so leave him alone. There are bigger problems in Exeter than this.

  • Anonymous

    Disgusted by the tone in this article. Mocking a homeless man is just tasteless.

  • Anon

    Wow all-time low for the tab, insulting vulnerable members of society who can't defend themselves. Nice work.

  • 119%

    119 people were so offended they liked this post on fb

  • thetab

    The Tab would like to point out that five of the Anonymous comments, along with exe, were all made from the same ip address.

    • I should be working

      Same ip address, same halls, different people?!?!

  • Anonymous

    So what is the Tabs view on homeless people then? Do enlighten us. Or, have your elaborate use of adjectives given your stance away?

Get the best of The Tab on our app.

Exeter University student jailed after sexual assault

He used his phone to watch clips with titles such as ‘He made this cute girl cry’

, Exeter Editor of The Tab

Clubbers of the Week

Was it a messy one then, hun?

Everything that happened at Hijacked 2016

Does anyone have spare gum?

, Exeter Editor of The Tab

Made In Chelsea has gone to the dogs

For God’s sake, will you maintain a modicum of decorum?

, Assistant Editor

Music festivals on terror alert

Nightclubs and festivals are both at risk of Isis suicide attacks

, Features Editor

Everything Mizz magazine taught us about life in our twenties

Mum thought Sugar and Bliss were too sexy

Review: The best supermarket gin and tonic tins

Because there’s more to life than Gordon’s


NUS disaffiliation: The story so far

Three SUs have voted to disaffiliate and three have to remain

The best cheap supermarket prosecco, according to a wine expert

‘This one tastes like it’s been left in the fridge for a week’