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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 February, 2005, 17:35 GMT
Protesters get 30k compensation
Court graphic
The case was settled and agreement reached out of court
Ten animal rights protesters were awarded 30,000 compensation by police after officers were accused of falsely imprisoning them.

The campaigners claimed they were wrongfully arrested while demonstrating against a pheasant shoot at Wansdyke Farm, Ham, near Marlborough, Wiltshire.

They were arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

A Wiltshire police spokesman said the case was settled out of court and without any admission of liability.

The protesters' lawyer, Iftikhar Manzoor, said that on 27 October 2001 they stood next to the shooters, forcing them to stop.

He said this was a commonly-used method for halting a shoot because gun-handling guidelines say a shooter must 'break' the gun to make it safe, if approached.

Protest peacefully

Officers arrested the campaigners on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and detained them at West Lea police station in Swindon, Mr Manzoor said.

After being interviewed they were released on bail, which was postponed and later cancelled, he said.

Describing the police reaction as "over the top," Mr Manzoor said his clients were denied their lawful right to protest peacefully.

"They were deprived of their liberty," he said.

A police spokesman would not discuss an individual case but confirmed that 30,000 was paid collectively in settlement to the 10 claimants.

"The settlement was reached without admission of liability," he said.

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