Sheffield & South Yorkshire

More Sheffield tree felling contempt charges proven

Calvin Payne Image copyright PA
Image caption Calvin Payne, from Sheffield, will be sentenced on 3 November

A campaigner has been found in contempt of court for flouting an injunction in a bid to stop trees being felled.

Calvin Payne, 44, breached the High Court order by twice stepping inside "safety zones" erected around trees due to be cut down in Sheffield.

On Friday, he was found in contempt of court over a Facebook post that encouraged others to breach the order imposed to stop direct action against tree felling in the city.

He is due to be sentenced on Friday.

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Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands of trees have been cut down in Sheffield since 2012

Under the terms of the injunction brought by Sheffield City Council, people are forbidden from entering safety zones set up around trees being felled.

It also forbids people encouraging or facilitating anyone else to break the injunction, including through social media.

In a ruling issued by Mr Justice Males earlier, Mr Payne was found to have stepped inside safety zones erected around trees on Kenwood Road, in Nether Edge, on 28 and 29 September.

However, due a technicality over the definition of a safety zone, he was found not to have breached the order in relation to a on a third incident on 25 September.

The judge had previously ruled comments made by Mr Payne online also breached the order.

The court heard he responded to the question "Is there anything we can do to help?" by saying: "What I would really like is for as many people as possible to break the injunction on Monday morning."

Findings 'welcomed'

Thousands of trees have been cut down in Sheffield as part of the council's £2bn 25-year Streets Ahead project, which is being carried out by contractor Amey.

Protesters argue many of the felled trees were healthy.

A Sheffield City Council spokesman said: "We welcome the judge's findings as published today.

"The court has clearly found Calvin Payne guilty of three counts of contempt."

He said the council would be asking Amey to "amend its working practices as a result of the court's definition of a safety zone".

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