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Monday 1st
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

A Yorkshire community staged a storming fundraising event after a local trade union member was jailed for three years for damaging property.

Trevor Lewis worked at a recycling centre between Hebden and Todmorden for privateer Sita on a contract for Calderdale Council.

Sita bosses changed working conditions making it impossible for Mr Lewis to do his job. He had a long-term injury, suffered pain, and his health worsened.

Early on July 19 he went to the site and used a JCB to wreck it, causing more than £300,000 worth of damage.

He first padlocked the gates after entering the site to ensure workmates and the public could not enter and be at risk of injury.

Mr Lewis was arrested at the site and charged with criminal damage.

He told police: “That site wrecked my life — so I wrecked that site.”

Before the trial he faced a disciplinary hearing with Sita bosses and was sacked. He was represented by his union Unite, which is still supporting him.

Before being imprisoned, Mr Lewis lived with his wife Carol on a narrowboat on the Rochdale Canal, which runs through the Pennine town of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire.

Yesterday the community rallied to the couple’s support by staging a concert to help Carol Lewis during her husband’s imprisonment.

The fundraiser, which raised more £500, took place at the legendary Trades Club at Hebden Bridge, and featured popular band the Owter Zeds and other volunteer performers.

Announcement of the gig on the band’s website brought 1,400 hits.

One of the band members said: “Our community is rallying round Carol and Trevor, which is great to see.”

Prizes from Cuba were used in a raffle and volunteer cooks served curries.