Christian festival attendees descend on town and ‘have sex in McDonalds loos’
Chaos has erupted after a some 1,500 people descended on Rutland Showground in Leicestershire for a Christian festival.
A McDonald's restaurant was forced to close after some attendees of the Light and Life Pentecostal church event were allegedly found having sex in the toilets and “trashed” the restaurant when asked to leave.
Police reinforcements from across the county were called in to deal with problems caused by the travellers' religious festival.
Confirming that two arrests have been made so far, Leicestershire police Superintendent Jonny Starbuck said: "Our presence continues in Oakham and at the Light and Life event at Rutland Show Ground."
"We have additional resources from the wider force to assist in dealing with issues that have been reported, including an increase in anti-social behaviour, some criminal offences and driving offences."
Superintendent Starbuck stressed that the religious gathering “is an outdoor event which is legal,” but added: “"We are investigating a number of offences including attempted robbery and anti-social behaviour.”
A source told The Sun that the nearby McDonald’s was “trashed”.
“They got asked to leave because it was mayhem and they threw food everywhere,” they claimed.
“The place was trashed. The toilets were completely blocked and they were having intercourse. It was so bad.”
A spokesperson for the restaurant told the Daily Star: “The safety of our people and customers is always our absolute priority.
"Due to a sudden surge in customer numbers on Monday, we were forced to close the restaurant to new customers for a short period so that we could maintain social distancing."
They added that the Oakham restaurant will be "operating slightly modified opening hours to ensure we can continue to manage social distancing effectively and to keep our people safe" for the duration of the festival.
The business is currently open to drive-through customers only.
One local writing on Twitter called for the showground to be "heavily fined".
They said: "Not for letting this go ahead, but for doing it with no health and safety considerations.
"They should also be banned from staging other events until they prove they can be responsible and considerate to Oakham residents."
Rutland Agricultural Society's chief executive officer, Kevin Tighe, apologised for the disruption.
"We are currently hosting a religious festival on our site which we are aware is causing disturbance to our neighbours," he said.
"We wholeheartedly apologise for this."
He explained that managers "agreed to the booking after assessing the organisers risk assessment and with the belief that this was an event primarily about Christian worship".
"However," he went on, "there is a minority of people who are disrupting the event and causing significant problems around the showground.
"Our priority is to help maintain public order and minimise disruption and allow the event to refocus on its Christian worship as quickly and quietly as possible.
"We have been in contact with the police who have been on site today."
Light and Life Gypsy Church pastor Albert Smith, who is based in Wigston, told LeicestershireLive: "When there's a big mass of people there are people who come and cause problems but the organisers are working flat out to keep them under control.
"A lot of people who come to the event are gypsies from the area who aren't Christians but these are the people we're trying to reach – those who don't know the Lord.
"That's the reason the convention is being held in Oakham, to try to reach the lost."
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