Farmer who used sign to insult his village has charges against him dropped

·2-min read
Carl Powell, 75, was taken to court for his sign insulting Peopleton in Worcestershire. (SWNS)
Carl Powell, 75, was taken to court for his sign insulting the village of Peopleton. (SWNS)

A farmer who used billboards to call his village a "lawless and godforsaken place" has had charges against him dropped.

Carl Powell, 75, was taken to court to face a public order offence in July when residents of Peopleton, Worcestershire, complained about his signs.

On a billboard, he described the place as "most definitely the nastiest village in Worcestershire" after a local planning row.

The other sign referenced field gates being taken off their hinges in 2018 to "let stock on to the highway".

After a lengthy row and a delayed trial, charges against Mr Powell of Stone Arrow Farm, Worcestershire, have been dropped.

Carl Powell's sign at Stone Arrow Farm in Peopleton. (SWNS)
Carl Powell's sign at Stone Arrow Farm in Peopleton. (SWNS)

Mr Powell said: "I have just received a letter from the courts saying the case is being discontinued due to a lack of evidence.

"It seems like there has finally been a bit of common sense applied, so I am very relieved."

Following his first court appearance in July, Mr Powell arrived at Worcester Magistrates Court brandishing the signs before being stopped by security.

Mr Powell, who chose to represent himself, said he was exercising his "right to freedom of speech."

In his defence, he added his sign is "true and factual - and I can prove it that."

Mr Powell was due to appear in court again in August but due to the officer being on annual leave, a new provisional date was set for 15 October.

But charges against him have now been dropped.

Mr Powell had been fined £90 in relation to the billboards and later received a letter informing him it was unpaid.

An enforcement officer then arrived at his farm with a notice to repossess some of his possessions to pay the penalty.

West Mercia Police have since confirmed the enforcement action against Mr Powell had been taken by mistake.

Mr Powell added: "The whole affair with the enforcement officer caused me a bit of aggravation.

"I might decide to appeal against that for compensation.”

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