Delight at court decision on ravers

A landmark court judgment banning three rave organisers from the county and ordering them to pay compensation to the landowner was last night being celebrated by Norfolk prosecutors and farmers.

A landmark court judgment banning three rave organisers from the county and ordering them to pay compensation to the landowner was last night being celebrated by Norfolk prosecutors and farmers.

The exclusion order is the first of its kind in the region and a move police are hoping will prove an effective weapon in the clampdown on unlicensed music events.

Nathan Deverick, 27, admitted organising a rave at Cockley Cley and the theft of a motor vehicle, while Andrew Payne, 19, and David Cooper, 26, admitted helping to organise the event which took place from November 17 to November 18.

On Tuesday, Swaffham magistrates issued the trio, who are all from Bedford, a community order for two years subject to exclusion from Norfolk, ordered them to each pay £170 compensation to the landowner for damage caused, as well as £45 costs.

Cooper also had his sound equipment seized and was given 18 hours' unpaid work to do while Deverick was fined £160.

Prosecutor Nick Crampton, said: “I think the police will find this helpful in deterring others who are planning events. The law at the moment is useless.

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“In order to prosecute someone for a rave there needs to be disturbance, which is fine in a town. But when people break into a field and hold an event it might only be a few squirrels who are disturbed, despite the mess left behind.”

The test case came about after the CPS, Norfolk police and local landowners' group Farmwatch, formed a new system where police worked with farmers to disrupt potential events and for the police and CPS to seek prosecution under licensing laws instead of the traditional means of Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.

Danny Cracknell, from Farmwatch, said: “We're extremely pleased about this. Every weekend farmers are on edge wondering what will happen.

“Hopefully this will bring about a U-turn. Not only are thousands of pounds of damage to crops and buildings caused but many animals leave their homes and are too scared to return. The environmental damage is quite horrendous.

“The seizing of the sound system is great news as without the sound system there is no rave and no rave means no people.

“It should send out a warning message to anyone thinking about coming here and holding an unlicensed event.”

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