Basildon Council Drops Dale Farm Prosecutions: Hodge Jones & Allen LLP Press Release
Lawyers and activists today welcomed the decision to drop the last
remaining prosecutions from the Dale Farm evictions.
Basildon Council had been pressing ahead with a number of prosecutions for
“obstructing a bailiff” that occurred during the controversial eviction on
19 October 2011.
Defence lawyers Hodge Jones & Allen LLP had been pressurising the council,
and had written a number of letters to Basildon arguing that it was not in
the public interest to proceed.
Solicitor Raj Chada said he was delighted with the decision. “As well as the millions spent on the eviction itself, Basildon Council sought to spend even more on a vindictive prosecution of a group of people who happened to disagree with them – and this at a time when local services are being slashed because of budget cuts. Thankfully for the clients, it is over.”
Ellie Robertson, a member of the Traveller Solidarity Network whose charges were dropped said “We welcome the decision. Basildon council have consistently put resources into trying to clear Travellers from the area and attacking those that stand by them. Instead they should put resources into finding suitable places for the homeless Dale Farm families to live”.
Notes to editors
* Hodge Jones & Allen LLP has represented 8 clients for
obstructing a bailiff. This follows a previous successful defence for
another eviction case at Dale Farm.
* Raj Chada is a public order solicitor at Hodge Jones & Allen
LLP. He has just finished representing clients in an “Occupy London” case
in which all were acquitted and he previously represented the Fortnum &
Mason defendants. In June 2012 Raj Chada won a Legal Aid Lawyer of the
Year award for his public order work.
* Hodge Jones & Allen LLP was founded in 1977 in Camden and now
has 190 staff based in a single modern office in Euston NW1. Famous for
its landmark human rights cases, the firm practices personal injury,
clinical negligence, civil liberties, family law, wills and probate,
housing, dispute resolution, criminal defence and serious fraud.