Daily Mail

Ventriloqu­ist’s puppet ‘hidden down trousers asked woman to have a feel’

- By Andy Dolan

A VENTRILOQU­IST has told how he was questioned for an hour by police after a woman claimed his puppet made lewd comments as she passed him in the street.

David Sampson, 67, said it was alleged that Grisweld the Super Dog asked the woman to ‘have a feel’ while the dummy was hidden down his trousers.

But the former telephone engineer insisted the incident could not have taken place because the dog ‘doesn’t talk’ and wouldn’t even fit in his trousers.

Warwickshi­re Police yesterday confirmed that a man had been spoken to over the incident in Mr Sampson’s home village of Brinklow, near Rugby, but had not been arrested.

Mr Sampson, a father of three, said he was stunned when he was contacted at the end of April and invited for an interview at Rugby police station.

He claimed to have been promoting a Valentine’s Day show at the time of the incident which police said was reported on April 3. Mr Sampson said: ‘Grisweld and I were distributi­ng leaflets and I was making jokes to passers-by to raise interest in our event.

‘ The woman claimed that Grisweld gave her a lot of sexual abuse and then hid in my trousers and said ‘‘why don’t you come and have a feel of this, missus?’’. But he would never do that, and I certainly wouldn’t either. Grisweld doesn’t talk, he never has done.

‘Whenever he’s appeared he’s always under the vet, he’s lost his bark, he doesn’t speak. He’s like Sooty. And he cannot get in my trousers. It never happened. The woman even described him as an emu in her statement, which shows how little she knows about it.’ He denied making any rude comments himself and said: ‘I was absolutely stunned at the language she said was used.’

Mr Sampson insists the allegation­s against him are motivated by a personal grudge.

He said that days after the woman reported him two police

‘Grisweld is innocent, OK’

officers came to see him and took a statement. Then he had an email asking him to come to the police station to make a recorded interview.

‘I said I didn’t want to do that, then a PC came round the following day and said if you don’t make a recorded interview voluntaril­y you will have to be arrested and taken to the police station,’ Mr Sampson said. ‘At the station I just said I hadn’t done anything. I had already pointed out to the PC that Grisweld could not physically get into my trousers. Grisweld is definitely innocent, OK.’

He added: ‘I think, in an age when you have robberies and break-ins that the police are not bothering to investigat­e, it’s absolutely ridiculous to go to all the trouble of taking any action whatsoever.’

Mr Sampson claimed the show he had been advertisin­g with Grisweld raised £300 for Comic Relief, but added: ‘I would imagine the cost to the taxpayer of that interview the other week – employing two officers to listen to it for an hour and a solicitor – would have probably cost more than we raised for Red Nose Day. It’s a disgrace.’

 ??  ?? Police quiz: David Sampson with his puppet Grisweld the Super Dog
Police quiz: David Sampson with his puppet Grisweld the Super Dog

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