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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 August, 2004, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Protesters go to judge's house
Villagers angry about a court's decision to allow gypsies to stay on a field near their homes have staged a demonstration outside a judge's house.

People from Minety in Wiltshire travelled to the home of Judge John Weeks QC in Yeovil, Somerset to protest against his ruling.

Judge Weeks said that the gypsies could stay until the results of a public planning inquiry in February are known.

One protester said: "We wanted him to understand the extent of feelings."

The five protesters stood outside the judge's home with two caravans and a banner asking "how would you like it m'lord?"

'Educational problems'

The judge is understood to have given no response to the protest.

The row broke out after a 56-strong group of gypsies bought a three-acre site in Minety last August.

North Wiltshire District Council applied for an eviction order after they moved in and made changes without planning permission.

The council applied for a High Court injunction to evict the gypsies but was told the travellers must apply for planning permission before the injunction could be granted.

The council then rejected the planning application by the gypsies and the group appealed to the High Court.

Judge Weeks, sitting at Bristol High Court, then decided the gypsies could stay after he was told that many of them suffered from health and educational problems.

Gypsy Council representative Maggie Smith-Bendell said after Monday's hearing that all the travellers wanted was to own their own land.

Gypsies stay despite eviction bid
03 Aug 04  |  Wiltshire

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