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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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OAP who chained up car in row with Carlisle Utd told by court to behave

An 81-year-old man who chained his car to Carlisle United’s railings after a decades-long land dispute has been ordered to behave.

Herbert Paterson photo
Herbert Paterson

Herbert Paterson, of Sunnymeade, Upperby, Carlisle, admitted obstructing police after he padlocked his car to the Brunton Park gates last November, causing police to be called.

He appeared before city magistrates and the court heard details of the dispute between the retired builder – who has been locked in a land row with the club since building 32 homes adjacent to the ground in 1967 – and the club.

Just hours before the game between United and Crewe Alexandra, Paterson secured his 10-year-old Ford Mondeo to the gates, and vowed to keep doing so at every home game after a row over the ownership of a patch of land.

Defence solicitor Keith Thomas described his court appearance as a “sad day for Mr Paterson”.

He said: “He is a man of previous good character and this case is the culmination of a long-running legal dispute with the football club.”

He said Paterson had to leave a gap between his houses and the club as part of the planning conditions but had accused the club of taking part of a piece of access road – a portion of the east stand, which was built in 1996.

Mr Thomas said Paterson only found about it when the Land Registry informed him that the club now had deeds for this part of the land.

Paterson, who has previously suggested a £1 million payment would be appropriate for the land, had threatened to “keep parking my car on that land because I own it and it’s my right”.

“I’m the legal owner and I want it all legalised,” he told the News & Star at the time of his protest.

“There will be disruption every time they play a game at home. There’s nothing they can do when I park there because I’ll be sitting in my car and on my land.”

On the day of the incident, managing director John Nixon came out with club officials and a pair of bolt cutters although these were not needed as the police arrived and the car was removed.

He said the land ownership issue had been “thoroughly” looked into and there wasn’t an issue.

“He [Paterson] has been claiming amounts of up to £1m, but there is no claim there to answer. It‘s just silliness,” he said.

Magistrates ordered Paterson to behave for a year and imposed a 12 month conditional discharge.

He was warned “not to misbehave” and ordered to pay £200 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Paterson had been due to go on trial charged with assault, which he denied, but admitted police obstruction, which the Crown Prosecution Service accepted.

Speaking outside court, the pensioner said he was still looking at ways to bring the long running land dispute to a conclusion.

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