CPS to consider Dale Farm charges


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The Independent Online

Police have passed 16 cases linked to the clearance of the UK's largest travellers' site to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The eight women and eight men had been on police bail since being arrested at Dale Farm near Basildon, Essex, in October.

Today it was announced the CPS will consider possible charges of obstructing a bailiff against them all.

Protest group Dale Farm Solidarity issued a statement saying that more than 30 supporters had rejected police cautions.

It said: "We stand by our decision to attempt to prevent the brutal forced eviction that took place.

"It has left Dale Farm a wasteland, with 83 families homeless and living in inhumane conditions.

"We believe that the eviction was unjust and therefore our actions were justified; we cannot accept 'guilt' for standing side by side with the Dale Farm community."

The protesters involved in the latest cases come from Cambridge, Leicester, London, Hereford, Surrey, Kent, Sheffield, Leeds and Bristol. Several are of no fixed address.

Essex Police also said that a woman arrested on suspicion of obstructing a bailiff on October 19 has been released without charge.

A 22-year-old man from Bristol and a 40-year-old woman from Bridport, Dorset, received cautions for obstructing a bailiff on October 19.

A 24-year-old man of no fixed address has been charged with assault by beating and a public order offence.

A total of 39 people were arrested during the protest. At least three have already appeared in court.

They include Ellen Yianni, girlfriend of Jonnie Marbles who attacked Rupert Murdoch with a plate of shaving foam. She will stand trial in January for refusing to remove a face covering.

Traveller Michael Slattery, 63, of Cray's Hill, Essex, pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence in November. He was given a nine-month conditional discharge.

A further 16 people were due to answer bail today.

The clearance, led by Basildon Council, followed a decade-long row over 51 unauthorised plots on the six-acre site.