Sussex

Brighton squatting trial: 'No case to answer' for two men

  • 23 April 2013
  • From the section Sussex
Bystanders at the Brighton squat raid
Image caption The men were charged after a police raid on a property in Brighton

Two men who were arrested in a flat in Brighton and went on trial under new anti-squatting legislation have been told they have "no case to answer".

Alistair Cannell and Tobias Sedwick, both 23 and of no fixed abode, appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court.

Their defence argued the property was not residential and there was no evidence the men lived at the flat.

However, a third man, Dirk Duputell, 30, also of no fixed abode, was told he does have a case to answer.

He will appear again in court on Wednesday.

All three denied charges of squatting in residential premises and obstructing a police officer.

Magistrates were shown a police video which the prosecution claims showed signs of people living in the flat at number 77a London Road.

Until September squatting was treated as a civil matter.

However, it is now a criminal offence with the maximum penalty being six months in jail, a £5,000 fine, or both.

The case continues.

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