Dummy run for police called to body

A TORSO was discovered, partially hidden in undergrowth in a wood, by a teenager walking his dog last week. Three police cars and forensics were immediately dispatched to the private wood in Aston End at about 6.40pm on Wednesday, only to discover the bod

A TORSO was discovered, partially hidden in undergrowth in a wood, by a teenager walking his dog last week.

Three police cars and forensics were immediately dispatched to the private wood in Aston End at about 6.40pm on Wednesday, only to discover the body part was in fact a dummy chest.

Filmmaker Geoff Searle, 29, from Aston, had been shooting a scene for a short horror film, Meat After School, for an American competition, when he and his crew decided to take a dinner break.

They hid their props, which included the dummy torso, in bushes for safekeeping and went into a nearby house to eat.


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Unaware of the commotion which ensued, Mr Searle and his team returned a little later to find their props gone.

"The filming was held up and we went in search of them," said Mr Searle. "It was only when my mum asked in The Crown pub that we realised what had happened.

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"Three police cars and forensics had turned up and had taken the 'body'.

"It was hidden in a bush, but a teenager happened to walk by and see it."

Mr Searle has since retrieved the imitation torso from the police.

A spokesman for Herts Police said: "Not only will the discovery have caused some distress to the member of public who came across it, but the subsequent police response involved the use of valuable resources.

"The constabulary had no prior knowledge of the production, which presented a challenge in the initial response."

But Mr Searle said he had gained permission from the owner of the wood to film in the area, and that the police had not made contact with the landowner when the discovery was made.

Herts Police said Mr Searle "has been spoken to by officers and given the appropriate advice".

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