Charges were dropped against a 75-year-old farmer whose billboard accused a village in Worcestershire of being a “lawless place”
- Carl Powell, 75, installed a billboard describing the village of Peopleton, Worcestershire, as a “murderous place without faith or law”.
- The farmer was slapped with a £ 90 fine and brought to justice for a public order violation after locals complained about his notice boards.
- Mr Powell took his billboard to court defending his “right to free speech”
- All charges against him dropped after lengthy argument and delayed trial
A farmer who used a billboard to accuse a small village of being a “lawless and God-forsaken place” shared his relief after charges against him were dropped.
After being slapped with a £ 90 fine earlier this year, Carl Powell, 75, was brought to justice over a public order offense in July after residents of Peopleton, Worcestershire , have complained about his billboards.
On the board, he described the small place as “quite possibly the wickedest village in Worcestershire”, which was erected after a local planning dispute.
Carl Powell, 75, was brought to justice in July after residents of Peopleton, Worcestershire complained about his billboards
On the board he described the little place as “quite possibly the meanest village in Worcestershire”
The sign was installed at Stone Arrow Farm after a row of local planning
The other contained a reference to the field barriers removed from their hinges on October 24, 2018 to “leave the stock on the highway”.
Now, after a long argument and a delayed trial, the charges against Mr Powell, of Stone Arrow Farm, have been dropped.
After his first court appearance in July, he arrived at Worcester Magistrates’ Court holding up the signs before being arrested by security.
In his court appearance, Mr Powell, who chose to represent himself, said he was exercising his “right to freedom of expression”.
In his defense, he added that his sign was “true and factual – and I can prove it”.
He was due to appear in court again in August, but due to the officer’s annual leave, a new tentative date was set for October 15.
Mr Powell said: “I just got a letter from the courts saying the case is closed due to lack of evidence.
“It seems like there has finally been some common sense applied, so I’m very relieved.”
However, between August and now, Mr Powell received a letter advising him of an unpaid fine.
An enforcement officer then arrived at his farm with a notice of repossession of some of his property to pay the fine.
In his first court appearance in July, Mr Powell arrived at Worcester Magistrates’ Court holding up the signs before being arrested by security.
Prosecutors argued the sign at Mr Powell’s farm was visible to passing motorists, but the charges are now dropped
Feelings were rife in Peopleton over the various signs Mr Powell put up around his property
West Mercia Police have since confirmed that the execution measure against Mr Powell was taken in error.
Since the execution measure was quashed, a West Mercia Police spokesperson said: “The subject officer confirmed he spoke with Mr Powell, discovered an administrative error with the debt collector and that the non-payment has been removed. “
Mr Powell added: “The whole affair with the enforcement officer has annoyed me a bit.
“I could decide to appeal this for compensation.
“I think I’ll wait a bit to think about it. ”