Paulsgrove rampage

HMS Victory moored off Gosport about 1920

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On this day in 2000 a mob went on the rampage at Paulsgrove hurling stones and bottles at a house after the naming of a paedophile by the News of the World.

Cars outside the house were attacked and one was overturned and set on fire.

A police sergeant had his nose broken and Portsmouth City Council offices were also attacked.

More than 50 police officers, ambulance crews and the fire service were involved.

Two further riots took place over the next few days leading to more violence and damage. Police with riot shields used CS spray to restore order.

In his diary, author and playwright Alan Bennett wrote of the events:

‘Appalling scenes on the Portsmouth housing estate which is conducting a witch hunt against suspected paedophiles and the nation is treated to the spectacle of a tattooed mother with a fag dangling from her lips with a baby in her arms proclaiming how concerned she is for her kiddies – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.