Police arrest machete-wielding Father Christmas-lookalike just off footpath to campus.

A grubby, homeless Santa Claus-lookalike has been arrested at his camp close to Exeter’s main campus for the possession of offensive weapons, including a machete.

Police with dogs were called yesterday morning after reports of a man wielding a machete near the Streatham campus.

The unnamed oddball, 63, was found to be in possession of a host of bladed tools including axes, saws, knives and a machete.

The homeless man is thought to have set up a camp in the wooded area off the public footpath between Velwell Road and Prince of Wales Road. Many students use the path, only dimly lit at night, as a route to University.

Disgustingly, when police approached the man he was in the middle of defecating.

Witnessing the arrest, The Tab also saw what appeared to be a syringe being taken off the camper.

An officer present during the arrest told The Tab the police have been watching the man for a long time, but have not had any grounds on which to arrest him.

The police expressed concern regarding the man’s mental health, but said he did not seem to be a danger to the public.

Entrance to the public footpath at the top of Velwell Road

The arrest took place at the entrance to the public footpath at the top of Velwell Road, an area of student housing.

The beardy weirdy has been somewhat of a cult hero around campus for several years. Exeter graduate Andrew Taggart, who lived in Hope Hall, told The Tab: “In my first year a mate of mine got in trouble with campus security for dressing up as that guy. He’s been around forever and used to just wander round the outside of my halls.”

In a statement, the police said: “At 9.30am [on] Wednesday 7 November 2012 police attended the footpath in Velwell Road, Exeter, near to the university cricket pitch following reports of a man with a machete. Officers, including a dog handler attended and spoke with him and found that he was in possession of a number of bladed tools, including axes, saws and the machete.

“These were siezed by police and a 63 year old man was arrested. He is presently detained at Exeter Police Station. No members of the public were threatened by the man and no one was injured. Police are reminding people to report any suspicious behaviour to them at the time it is happening and are pleased that this call was made.”


  • Pistol

    His name is the Wizard

  • Exe

    Of course he has bladed tools, how else is he going to build his elaborate forts!?!

  • Anonymous

    Very distasteful report. I find your choice of adjectives quite offensive, describing a homeless person as ‘grubby’ and a ‘beardy weirdy’ is abhorrent. I’m disappointed in The Tab for publishing such garbage.

    • Matt Stephens

      He is the sort of human should have wiped out by natural selection, utter filth to society.

  • exe

    This isn't journalism, this is bullying.

  • Anonymous

    Immature journalism right there (if you can call that journalism).

    • Goive

      I honestly think the fact this guy was shitting next to a footpath and hoarding machetes and axes is more worrying than the Tab calling him grubby.

      • Anonymous

        Okay, well he was wielding a machete – why add insult to injury by needlessly calling him 'grubby'?

        The FACTS of the story are shocking enough without adding subjective, offensive opinions. Words like "disgusting", "beridy wierdy", "loner", and "grubby" are needless in the context of the facts of the story, which are striking and sensational in themselves. It's bad, dangerous journalism.

        • anon

          He was taking a shit as the police arrived…. hes grubby

  • Anon

    Seriously 'anonymous' chill out. If you want serious breaking news stories with more p.c. adjectives then don't read the Tab, it's meant to be a bit of fun and you're obviously missing the point. It's called an having an opinion so if you find a word like 'grubby' offensive then go and read the FT or something more high brow instead. To be fair he probably is a bit grubby if he isn't fortunate enough to have a house.

  • Anonymous

    I've lived near this man for over a year and have never felt threatened by him. I find the Tab's representation of him tasteless and unnecessary. He isn't causing harm to anyone so leave him alone. There are bigger problems in Exeter than this.

  • Anonymous

    Disgusted by the tone in this article. Mocking a homeless man is just tasteless.

  • Anon

    Wow all-time low for the tab, insulting vulnerable members of society who can't defend themselves. Nice work.

  • 119%

    119 people were so offended they liked this post on fb

  • thetab

    The Tab would like to point out that five of the Anonymous comments, along with exe, were all made from the same ip address.

    • I should be working

      Same ip address, same halls, different people?!?!

  • Simon Binks

    Whoever is posting under Anon get a fucking life! Are you really that sad to post 5 times

  • thetabisfab

    YES Simon!

  • Anonymous

    So what is the Tabs view on homeless people then? Do enlighten us. Or, have your elaborate use of adjectives given your stance away?

  • Gurnie Eccleston

    No Digbeth? Must be because everybody loves a gurney one…

  • Lucas

    Risa wins on account of it kicking out gay people

  • brumclublover

    How is Snobs not being on Broad Street a bad thing? Broad Street is awful.

  • flubber

    this actually made me laugh a bit cause it’s so true! also big ups for the Girls quote, u know da ting

  • LafrowdaSexWizard