Protest group says police kept them away from service

A procession from King's Lynn Town Hall to Lynn Minster for the Annual High Sheriff of Norfolk justice service. Picture: Matthew Usher. A procession from King's Lynn Town Hall to Lynn Minster for the Annual High Sheriff of Norfolk justice service. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
9:10 AM

A planned protest in King’s Lynn by the New Fathers 4 Justice campaign group failed to materialise because activists were stopped and delayed by police en route, it was claimed today.

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The group, which campaigns for the rights of fathers to see their children, planned to target the traditional justice service at King’s Lynn Minster on Sunday.

The activists aimed to protest as the procession of judges walked past from the town hall to the minster, but the event attended by Norfolk’s High Sheriff, the Countess of Leicester, and distinguished guests from the legal profession went without a hitch.

A spokesman for New Fathers 4 Justice said: “The two activists that were coming to King’s Lynn were stopped and had their camper van searched on the A47 between Peterborough and Wisbech at about 9.20am on Sunday.

“Police said they were stopped due to intelligence received. The activists had their superhero suits inside and a ladder on top and they were delayed so long that they stood no chance of making the procession.”

A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said he could not confirm the incident

New Fathers 4 Justice is not affiliated with Fathers 4 Justice (F4J) UK, and still uses the superhero costumes in its protests unlike the original group.

Norwich activist Barry Milner said that protesting was “the only way anyone takes any notice of our message”.

He added: “David Cameron and the Tories have still not done anything to give fathers any legal rights to see their children. The government needs to act, words will no longer do.

“We want nothing less than a legal presumption of 50/50 contact for a child with their parents if they split up.”

The service on Sunday was attended by Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner, Stephen Bett, Lord Lieutenant Richard Jewson, and coroner Jacqueline Lake, among others.

Mayor’s officer Kelly Seaman said: “It was a very enjoyable day, and a great number of people commented on how well the procession had gone, what a great service it was, and what a great event.”

Are you planning a protest? Email reporter David Bale at david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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