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Menwith Hill base worker not guilty of peacenik GBH

A US citizen who drove over the foot of a peace campaigner outside a spy base in Yorkshire has been found not guilty of grievous bodily harm.

On August 11 2015 a group of peace campaigners were holding a regular demonstration outside Menwith Hill, the US intelligence gathering base near Harrogate.

A car driven by Steve Higgins, who works at the base, drove towards the protesters running over campaigner Babara Penny’s foot. She was hospitalised for two weeks.

After a two-year delay and a four-day trial, a jury at Leeds Crown Court found Mr Higgins not guilty on Thursday.

Michael McGowan, former Labour Euro-MP for Leeds and long-time campaigner for the closure of Menwith Hill, who attended the trial, said: “I am disappointed at the not guilty verdict and I am extremely concerned about the serious injury to Barbara Penny.

“The right to peaceful protest is part of our democracy and those involved in peaceful activities should not have their lives and limbs put at risk.”

The base, where more than 1,000 US civilians and military staff work, gathers economic, military and political information which is fed to the US. It played a part in the war on Iraq.

Since 2000 it has been targeted for weekly vigils by peace campaigners.


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