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Monday, 17 June, 2002, 17:53 GMT 18:53 UK
Trident grandmother held after protest
Aldermaston site, Berkshire
Protestors have been outside Aldermaston for days
A grandmother who was cleared in court of attacking a Trident submarine has been arrested at the Aldermaston nuclear plant.

Anti-nuclear protester Sylvia Boyes, 58, the wife of a Unitarian Church minister, was held for blocking an entrance to the base in Berkshire.

Her arrest came as the Ministry of Defence denied claims it is planning a huge expansion at Aldermaston to allow the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons.

Mrs Boyes, from Birmingham, was among four people arrested on Monday for obstructing the highway.

Submarine plot

In January last year she and another protester were acquitted of criminal damage charges by a jury.

They had admitted a plot to damage HMS Vengeance at the Marconi Yard in Barrow-in-Furness using hammers and an axe.

Sylvia Boyes, 58
Mrs Boyes was acquited by a jury last year
Mrs Boyes and her companion had claimed their actions were justified because nuclear weapons were "immoral and illegal".

At Aldermaston two other activists were also held on suspicion of criminal damage and burglary after trying to break into the plant.

The anti-nuclear group Trident Ploughshares, which has been camping outside Aldermaston in recent days, claimed the two men got into the base over a 12-feet fence and spent an hour going through paperwork in an office.

MoD denial

A spokesman for the group claimed it had highlighted the difficulties of keeping Aldermaston secure.

"It wouldn't have been difficult for a terrorist to plant a serious device," the spokesman said.

The group claimed another two of its activists, both women, got through the perimeter fence on Sunday night before being arrested.

It also claimed that mother of four Juliet McBride, 53, got into a briefing in MoD offices at the plant on Sunday.

But an MoD spokesman said he had no knowledge of anyone having successfully broken into the plant.

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