Protesters hold mock trial in Howard's front yard

Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, found himself at the centre of a weekend of protest against the Criminal Justice Act yesterday as demostrators invaded his new coutry home and staged a `People's Court'. Another protest ended in violent clashes between hunt saboteurs and Essex police.

About 250 protesters invaded the grounds of Mr Howard's new home near Folkestone, Kent. Six climbed on to the roof while others had a picnic, unfurled banners, chanted and staged a mock trial in his front garden to find Mr Howard guilty of ``a gross violation of human rights''.

About 60 Kent police attended while a police helicopter circled overhead. The rooftop protesters were eventually persuaded to come down. There were no arrests.

As darkness fell the invaders, who included hunt saboteurs, civil rights groups and opponents of road schemes, boarded their coaches and were given a police escort to the M20. ``It was a noisy but entirely peaceful protest,'' said a police spokeswoman.

Many of the demonstrators had not known that they were bound for Mr Howard's new home, in his Folkestone constituency - the journey had been billed as a ``mystery tour''.

Mr Howard and his family have yet to move into the large detached house, where building work is still going on.

Across the Thames estuary in Essex, police charged 22 hunt saboteurs with aggravated trespass - trespassing while disrupting, or intending to disrupt, a lawful activity - which became an offence this month under the new Act.

The charges followed Saturday's mass disruption of the Essex Hunt's meeting, which began in Good Easter, near Chelmsford. More than 200 saboteurs descended on the village.

A police spokeswoman said two men, aged 26 and 25 and both from the London area, have been charged with grievous bodily harm after a police sergeant was kicked unconcious and a constable had an arm broken. The sergeant is recovering at home.

Paul Davies, campaigns officer with the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said an officer had beaten a woman saboteur with a 4ft metal-tipped stake and she had needed hospital treatment.

There were no violent confrontations with the hunt itself, which managed to kill one fox.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...