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Judge bans Yorkley Court protester from farm for life

A protester has been banned from returning to Yorkley Court Farm for life after a court heard he tried to stop the site being cleared the day after a controversial eviction.

Daniel Beaman, 29, was found guilty of obstructing a person engaged in a lawful activity after the court was told that he tried to stop workers clearing the site which was the centre of a bitter three year eviction battle with eco warriors.

District Judge Joti Bopa Rai banned him from returning the site of the former camp in the Forest of Dean for life and ordered him to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

The ban also prevents him from using public footpaths across the land owned by millionaire businessman Brian Bennett.

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Beaman was also given a six week sentence suspended for 12 months when he appeared before Cheltenham Magistrates Court last week.

The court heard that after being lawfully evicted by county court bailiffs the previous day, Beaman returned to Yorkley Court Farm on Friday March 11 2016.

According to records he obstructed a dog handler from a security company in an attempt to disrupt the legal activity of rubbish removal. He was also ordered to pay £500 costs to the CPS and an £80 victim surcharge.

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Activists had taken over the land three years earlier to create a community farm and built a large tower at the entrance, which was destroyed after Mr Bennett hired bailiffs to enforce a possession order.

During the eviction around 20 eco-warriors were removed from their makeshift homes which were then bulldozed.

But some of those evicted spent the night in Ten Acre Woods and moved back on to the farm to occupy a disused military hangar and police were on standby as they were removed. There were two arrests.

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Councillor Chris McFarling is currently chairing a scrutiny committee inquiry for the Forest of Dean District Council into complaints about the way the eviction took place.

Councillor Jackie Fraser, who won the motion for the inquiry, said: “A lot of neighbours were very concerned about the manner of the eviction so I asked the scrutiny committee to look into it. We are around half way through so I cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.”

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