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When circus clowns brawl with animal rights nuts

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Clown clashes with animal rights protesters

A Circus clown from Cumbria was arrested this week after clashing with animal rights activists – for the second time in less than a year.

Protesters are now calling for Whitehaven’s Stanley Thompson, better known as Sparky the Clown, to be sacked following the incident near Goole in Humberside.

It happened on Wednesday night while members of the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS) were demonstrating at the entrance to Peter Jolly’s Circus.

The west Cumbrian clown was driving onto the site as the show was about to start.

Protesters say he stopped the car and reversed backwards, knocking over one of their members, who was shaken but not hurt.

The police were called and arrested the 29-year-old on suspicion of assault.

A spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that a Cumbrian man had been arrested at the circus gate that night. He was later dealt with by way of an £80 fixed penalty fine for the public order offence. It is the second time Sparky has been arrested following a run-in with animal rights campaigners, who target the circus because it is one of only eight left in the UK that still uses performing animals, including a captive bear.

Less than nine months ago, in October last year, he accepted a police caution for an incident of common assault when the circus was in Bolton.

It was said that the clown, wearing full make-up, shoved a female protester who was taking pictures of him, causing the camera to hit her in the face. She suffered a minor mouth injury and bruising.

The group of 15 campaigners were leafleting outside the entrance, calling on spectators to boycott the show.


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