Fury after boy hurt in Red Cow

Launch of a petition in February about the Red Cow in Donington
Launch of a petition in February about the Red Cow in Donington

Angry mums calling for “a death trap” in Donington to be boarded up again are being urged to warn their children of the dangers of playing in a derelict building.

Resident Veronica Baker contacted the Spalding Guardian because young people are getting into the Red Cow and she fears it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

She said: “They are getting in through the back. Since before Christmas there have been incidents of kids hurting themselves.

“My boy’s no angel and he’s been in there, but he helped rescue two girls who had fallen through the floor boards and one of his friends has been hurt. I don’t want to get a phone call saying my son has been hurt.”

Jane King, the local South Holland district councillor, said she was aware boards had been ripped away from the Grade 11 listed building and children were getting in.

She said: “The police are constantly making the building secure and the boards get ripped away.

“The owner still can’t be located, but restraints on council budgets mean we are unable to make a compulsory purchase order on it. But what would we do with it? There are already enough community centres in the village.

“It’s in such a dangerous state if it caught fire and there was someone in there it would be a death trap.”

Coun Malcolm Chandler, portfolio holder for regulatory services at SHDC said: “We understand that these are the first reports to police and the council since last summer about break-ins at the Red Cow and I am pleased that our joint efforts have helped to bring about a reduction in reported problems.

“Last summer police visited local schools and made young people aware of the dangers posed by forcing entry to secured empty buildings. I urge parents to support us in this while we continue with our efforts with the landlord to remedy the situation.”

A spokesman for the police said: “It’s a shame to see that the problems with children trespassing inside the Red Cow have continued. The police will be paying special attention to the building from now on – those found inside will find themselves in trouble and possibly facing charges where damage is found, along with any other offences.”

Resident Sandra Hilton has handed over a petition she launched in February to Veronica, who has been going door-to-door to boost signatures. On Tuesday it had 245 signatures and will be presented to the next Donington Parish Council meeting on Thursday, June 5.