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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Spoon the Tramp

May 05 2010
A website encouraging members of the public to attack a homeless man in West London has been mysteriously shut down.

A website encouraging members of the public to attack a homeless man in West London has been mysteriously shut down.

Spoonthetramp.com, believed to have been set up by London-based comedians Danny Blue and Mark Gale, invited passing motorists to throw spoons at a homeless man sleeping under the Chiswick flyover. The site's author claimed to have thrown 8,000 spoons at the rough sleeper over a period of 15 years, and published directions to the flyover as well as the tip that "that the best time to bomb this geezer with spoons is about 2.30 in the morning."

At the end of March, an article in the Hounslow Chronicle described spoonthetramp.com as 'malicious' and 'unpleasant' in its targeting of an individual rough sleeper. Soon afterwards, the site disappeared and its web address diverted to the home page of housing charity Shelter. It is unclear who redirected the page or whether the site is likely to return. Shelter was concerned to find that spoonthetramp.com had linked to their site and was keen to distance themselves from it. Julia Pitman, a spokeswoman for the charity, told The Pavement that "Shelter has no connection with either Mark Gale or Spoon the Tramp and was not aware of the redirect to our website." She added that Shelter was taking steps to remove the link.

The Pavement also contacted Sergeant Nathan Fane from Brentford Safer Neighbourhood team, who works in the area of the flyover and has had contact with the man targeted by spoonthetramp.com. Although Sgt Fane said that online material that might incite violence could be pursued as a criminal matter, the fact that the site had been taken down meant he was unable to investigate the matter. "It would be wrong to make a comment on the legal implications of this without seeing the site," said Sgt Fane.

The Pavement will follow up on spoonthetramp.com to see if the site resurfaces, and whether any legal action will be taken against it.

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