Tracy St Clair Pearce, 50, who lives at Seven Saints Rare Breeds Farm near Colchester, told the four youths that she would spray them with weedkiller if they did not leave immediately.

According to Miss St Claire Pearce, the travellers responded by threatening her with their chainsaw, before one of them shouted: ?I will slit your throat, I will slit the throats of your calves and cows.?

They then allegedly threw stones at her and exposed themselves while shouting obscenities.

However, after reporting the incident to the police, officers took action against Miss St Clair Pearce rather than the travellers.

Three days after the incident, officers arrived at her farm to confiscate her legally held 12-bore shotgun and another firearm.

A spokesman for Essex police said: ?Officers became concerned at the behaviour of a woman and laid information before magistrates accordingly. They were given powers to seize guns in her possession and have done so as a sensible precaution in the circumstances.?

But Miss St Claire Pearce, who has held a shotgun certificate for 20 years, disagreed.

She said: ?I?m at a loss for words. I phoned them because I was the victim and I thought they would come and help me, simple as that. How can the travellers come and trespass on my land, damage my property, threaten me, and I am the one in the wrong??

The incident occurred the day after 18 caravans set up camp illegally in a field owned by Colchester Borough Council.

  • Zorro

    Of course this is a common theme with the police. Travellers have been elevated to a status above the law. They have publically funded Gypsies & Travellers Liaison Officer to give them legal advice and support and for the most part the police won’t go near them because it far easier to police middle England. THey pay no tax and crime seems to follow them. It may not be politically correct to say it but in many localities these communities are blight!

  • Mike Best

    Once again it is the innocent, law abiding citizen who is persecuted and now will either have to wait some considerable time or spend a vast sum of money fighting this through the courts in order to get her guns back.
    As a member of the Scottish Association for Country Sports my insurance gives me £100,000 of legal fees cover as standard and there would have been top lawyers onto the case straight away.
    Every country sportsman should have adequate insurance to cover eventualities such as this.

  • Guilherme Carvalho

    It is with disgust, yet again within a year, I hear that police takes action against law abiding citizens and not the trespassers. They don’t venture near their camp site because they now how they’ll be received. So they turn to the potential victims and take their guns away? A threat with a chainsaw from four youths to a woman is disregarded like this? How is that for justice?

    My support goes to this lady farmer and last years land owner that shot a warning shot to the air, and got his gun confiscated for asking for help to the police