In a scene thick with tension, police were called after two tribes of sci-fi fans – several of whom were in fancy dress – threatened to go to war in a brawl at a sci-fi convention in Norwich.
The dispute flared when the treasurer of Norwich Sci-Fi club, Jim Poole, was refused entry to a convention organised by rival fan group, Norwich Star Wars club, at the University of East Anglia. He was asked to leave as he approached Doctor Who actor Graham Cole for an autograph, leading to a stand-off which was only prevented from spiralling into a lightsaber duel by police and university security.
The altercation is believed to have been caused by a long-running feud between the two clubs and claims by organiser Richard Walker that Poole’s side had been undermining the convention, which was attended by 1000 people, via comments on Facebook.
Police confirmed they had been called to reports of a man being assaulted and arrived to find a dispute between two groups. A spokesman said: "After lengthy investigation, talking to witnesses and reviewing good CCTV footage, it was confirmed that there was no assault. The two rival groups were spoken to and advised to keep out of each other’s way.”
In the aftermath of the fracas, Poole insisted to the Norwich Evening News that he had attended "in good faith."