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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
Spy base women planning to appeal
Two veteran peace protesters convicted of trespassing at a US spy base in North Yorkshire have been given a three-month conditional discharge.

Helen John, 69, and Sylvia Boyes, 63, of Keighley, were arrested after entering RAF Menwith Hill last year.

The women were charged with criminal trespass under Section 128 of the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.

The two grandmothers said they intend to continue their fight and would appeal against their convictions.

They accused the government of acting in "bad faith" when the base was labelled a designated site under new anti-terror laws.

'No threat' posed

Both women claim the new law was being used as a "sledgehammer to crack a nut".

John, from Wimborne Drive, and Boyes, from Wren Street, both in Keighley, West Yorkshire, had denied the charge.

Helen John claimed the base was not crown property and was operated wholly in the interests of the US government.

However, District Judge Martin Walker convicted the pair of criminal trespass at Harrogate Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The judge could have fined or jailed the pair, but he said the offence was at the bottom end of the scale and they posed no threat or danger to anyone.

As well as the conditional discharge he ordered each of them to pay 50 towards prosecution costs.

RAF Menwith Hill has been the focus of years of protests from demonstrators who claim it is only nominally a British base and say it is staffed almost entirely by personnel from the US military and other American agencies.



SEE ALSO
Grandmothers face trespass trial
10 Oct 07 |  North Yorkshire
Inspector joins base protesters
03 Jul 05 |  North Yorkshire
Police hold protesters at US base
19 Mar 04 |  North Yorkshire

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