Emu that apprehended suspected drink-driver on the run in Wiltshire gets its own mural

Emu mural in Malmesbury
A man admires the new mural in honour of an emu that stopped a suspected drink-driver Credit: BPM Media/Luke Hollingworth

An emu which helped bring a suspected drink-driver to justice after he crashed into a shopfront and fled the scene has been immortalised in a mural.

Aptly named "Long Neck of the Law", the mural is on the boarded-up window of the shop that was smashed by the driver in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

The incident, which happened on Monday 25 July, saw the driver of the pick-up truck flee the scene before Dean Wade, executive chef at the nearby Old Bell Hotel, gave chase.

The car crashed into the shop front in July this year Credit: BPM Media

He said he chased them through fields, trees, forests, gardens and allotments for around 15 minutes.

But when the driver made one final attempt to escape, they were attacked by an emu protecting its young at Malmesbury Animal Sanctuary.

Mr Wade said he watched in disbelief as the suspect unsuccessfully waved around his arms in an attempt to shoo the emu away before he was apprehended by police officers.

The shop is owned by Andrea Herbert who had taken it over just days before the dramatic crash.

But instead of being disheartened, she decided to enlist the help of local graffiti artist Luke Hollingworth to spruce up the wooden boards likely to stay in place for a while.

Luke Hollingworth's daughter helps him paint the new mural Credit: BPM Media/ Luke Hollingworth

She said: "I took the shop on literally just a few days before the accident happened and I was just really glad that it wasn't worse and no one was hurt.

"I thought it would be a good idea to get something on the boards of the shopfront, as they'd likely be up a while, and then we can hopefully auction them off, once repairs are done and raise some money for Malmesbury Animal Sanctuary.

"I just thought, yeah - I could get upset about it, but there's no point, there's nothing I can do.

"And I contacted the team who run the sanctuary and they were completely onboard straight away. I absolutely love the finished product."

Street artist Luke, who runs The Stencil Shed under the pseudonym Syd, surprised the community with his latest piece this morning (17 August).

The new mural on the shop front in Malmesbury Credit: BPM Media/ Luke Hollingworth

He said: "This story had everything. We went to see the emus on Sunday, with Andrea to talk over the artwork.

"They were amazing. I painted it yesterday, in collaboration with my daughter and we've had a fantastic response since it went up this morning.

"The mural fits the playful nature of the town - taking inspiration from the story and the fun elements of it.

"Andrea has made light and turned a positive from what could have been quite a negative thing for her business."

The artist said he would be creating further images of the emu to be auctioned off to raise funds for the animal sanctuary.

The driver, in his 40s, was arrested and charged on suspicion of failing to stop at the scene of a collision, dangerous driving, driving while unfit through drugs, drink driving and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.