A regional newspaper editor has been targeted by a former safecracker who believes he has every right to confront his detractors.
Peter Barron, editor of the Northern Echo, is tonight identified as one of George Reynolds’ “local targets” in a television programme on BBC1.
In the 30-minute programme Reynolds – now a millionaire and chairman of Darlington FC – criticises the press and claims the media makes wrong accusations and uses labels to describe him.
He told the BBC his detractors can expect confrontation at home or at the ground. He has publicly warned fans he will go to their homes if they criticise him or his family.
Reynolds told the documentary team: “Nobody has a go at me. I find out where they live and I go and knock on their door.”
And that seems to include Peter, because he also talks about visiting his house, and about the editor being one of his “targets”.
Police have investigated a number of incidents in which Reynolds made unannounced visits to homes.
One on-going investigation is into several visits made by Reynolds and his associates to the home of Peter, where written warnings were left.
There have been four visits so far from the football club chairman and his colleagues, when they left calling cards.
Chief Inspector John Blacklock, operations manager at Darlington Police said: “As part of the investigation, we have spoken to Mr Reynolds and made it clear that this has to stop.”
The Darlington FC Supporters’ Trust says public threats have caused an “unprecedented situation”. A local fanzine and a football website were both closed after complaints from Reynolds, who has ambitions to take the club into the Premiership.
He let the cameras follow him around for the documentary, which follows the three weeks leading up to the opening of his new stadium after the club moved from Feethams.
The BBC labels him a “colourful character” and concedes that he is feared by his critics.
The incidents involving Peter have been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service and because of the investigation, he declined to comment.
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