Dale Farm Footage: Media Organisations Win High Court Battle

PA/The Huffington Post UK  |  Posted: Updated: 17/05/2012 10:27

Media organisations have won a High Court battle against orders forcing them to hand over to the police film footage of the high-profile evictions of residents from the Dale Farm travellers' site.

The production orders made by Judge Gratwicke at Chelmsford Crown Court in February at the request of Essex Police were quashed on Thursday.

The BBC, Independent Television News, BSkyB, Channel 5, Hardcash Productions and freelance video journalist Jason Parkinson joined forces to oppose the orders.

Their lawyers said the media risked becoming seen as "coppers' narks" if they were required to hand over footage.

Overthrowing the orders at London's High Court, Mr Justice Eady, sitting with Lord Justice Moses and Judge Gratwicke "failed to give sufficient weight to the inhibiting effect of production orders on the press".

Dale Farm was evicted last year after a fierce battle between travellers and the local council. Hundreds of residents, bolstered by supporters, barricaded themselves inside the Basildon site to fight the eviction order.

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Smoke rises above Dale Farm as a caravan is set ablaze by travellers and their supporters on Dale Farm, near Basildon, east of London, on October 19, 2011. Missiles were hurled at police and fires set as the clearance of Britain's biggest illegal travellers' site finally got under way Wednesday after a 10-year court battle. Shortly before sunrise, police officers in riot gear entered the Dale Farm site outside the town of Basildon, southeast England, to begin clearing the six-acre (2.4 hectare) camp. (Getty)