THE IDENTITY of the man who breached security and ran into the main ring during best in show judging at this year’s Crufts has been revealed.
As reported previously, this year’s interloper was a middle-aged man in black clothing, accompanied by a small terrier crossbreed festooned with balloons.
However, the interloper has been revealed in last week’s Chat magazine as Barry Beaumont, one of small group of ‘serial infiltrators’, led by Tommy Dunn, 42, from Manchester.
Dunn explains in the short article how he and his son Thomas Junior, together with Beaumont and friend Karl Power "blag their way" into events "for a laugh". Previous hoaxes have been when Dunne and Power dressed up in team kit and tagged onto the Manchester United football team as they lined up for the official team photo in Munich in 2001, or when Beaumont jumped on stage at this year’s Brit Awards when the Kaiser Chiefs went up to get an award.
Dunne reveals that the small group - who come over as rather sad characters - decided to infiltrate Crufts. Dunne says: "It’d be great to take some old mongrel into the arena." He borrowed his sister Pauline’s Jack Russell named ‘Jack’ and went to the NEC.
Incredibly, Dunne went up to a female security official at the press seating area at the Best In Show ring and told her he’d lost his press pass. Not only did the official get him a replacement pass, she allowed him into the ring with the dog.
Dunne describes the hoax as "hilarious" but shows some regret at Jack having to spend a night with the RSPCA after Beaumont was arrested.
Eyewitnesses saw Beaumont run into the ring with Jack from the backstage holding area and then run alongside the Best Terrier winner - later Reserve Best In Show - Wire Fox Terrier Ch/Am Ch El-Rays Snowtaire Iceni Payback (Imp) and his handler Andrew Goodsall. Fortunately, neither Mr Goodsall nor his dog were distracted by the interlopers…
The NEC security staff appeared not to notice the presence of either man or dog until it was pointed out to them by the KC’s Trophy Handler Jason Clarke who moved forward to protect the Best In Show Keddle Trophy and was heard to shout "Behind you, lads!" along with several hundred members of the audience.
Finally, a couple of black shirted professional crowd control staff who had been facing the audience, together with blue jacketed NEC staff and a couple of West Midland police officers bundled Beaumont out of the ring and wrestled him to the ground, whilst many members of the crowd booed and hurled abuse at the sad individual for attempting to disrupt proceedings.
Eyewitness Sarah Carey who had been watching BIS judging was critical of the NEC’s belated strong-arm tactics with the man once he had been removed from the ring and the effect it had on the dog: "Suddenly the guards started wrestling him to the ground and the police dived in as well to handcuff him. He was still holding his dog’s lead at this point and the poor little soul was getting dragged into the melee and I saw the dog get kicked - accidentally I add - more than once by the security staff and police. I was shouting ‘watch out for the dog - someone get the dog!’
"Others in the holding ring were just standing watching. The dog finally got loose from the man and out of the ruckus. Again I shouted ‘Someone get hold of the little dog’. He was obviously very frightened and confused by it all."
Eventually, a veterinary nurse took the initiative and rushed over and picked him up and gave him a cuddle. As Beaumont was frogmarched out of the holding ring, and another vet nurse and vet appeared and examined the little dog.
Ms Carey continues: "He appeared to be okay from where I was sitting, just a little shook up and shocked. The man didn't seem to ask once about the welfare of his dog.
The Crufts Committee expressed their displeasure at the NEC’s bungling security staff allowing security to be breached yet again and are understood to have made a very strong complaint soon after the show and demanded assurances that such an incident will not happen again.
However, if a pair of simple amateurs such as Dunne and Beaumont can fool NEC security staff into letting them into a restricted area, the question must be asked what chance would anyone have of avoiding a far more serious breach of security, such as a possible terrorist attack?