Farmer 'punched 15 times' after telling Peak District walker to follow coronavirus guidance and 'go home'

April Roach
A farmer was assaulted in Edale, a village in the Peak District: PA

A farmer was allegedly punched 15 times after he told a walker in the Peak District to follow coronavirus guidance and "go home".

Derbyshire Police have launched an investigation after the farmer from Edale said he was assaulted while disinfecting his gates at around 9.45am on Sunday.

Despite calls from the government urging people to stay at home in a bid to stop the coronavirus from spreading, the farmer said "hundreds of people" were walking through his gates.

A message posted on Facebook on behalf of the farmer read: “I am a farmer in Edale I went out at 9am to feed my sheep on the side of the footpath, I was spraying the gate handles with disinfectant due to the hundreds of people that went through them yesterday.

Derbyshire Police shared a picture on Twitter of drivers heading to the Peak District despite being told to stay at home by the government. (Derbyshire Police)

“I got a very funny look of a man walking and said to him there are too many people here will you please just go home!

“I have just had to phone the police as my thanks was to be punched about 15 times then kicked in the ribs as I hit the floor.

“Please, please, please, leave us alone.”

Addressing the incident, Derbyshire Police said in a statement: “The victim was left shaken and bruised but did not suffer any serious, life-threatening or altering injuries.

“The offender was white, aged about 40, with fair hair and glasses. He wore standard walking gear, a hat and a ‘snood’.”​

The force has asked all those considering a trip to the Peak District in the warm weather to stay at home.

“We’re seeing a lot of confusion over whether people are allowed to travel to the Peaks to undertake daily exercise while the Government are asking us to stay at home," said Derbyshire Police in a Tweet.

“While we have this fantastic space in our county, right now is not the time to be using it.

“Daily exercise should be taken locally to your home. Under government guidance all travel is limited to essential travel only.

“This is to help ensure that our emergency services aren’t put under even more pressure during this time.

“Should you trip, fall or have a road traffic accident while you are travelling to, or are out in the Peaks, then this will add additional pressure to an already stretched service.”

Police have asked anyone with information about the assault to contact them via their website, Facebook or Twitter, and quote crime ref 20*157808.