Two women have been cleared following an anti-meat protest at Norwich livestock market.

Elena Kenny, 18, and Sarah Love, 46, had been part of an animal rights demonstration at the site, which is just off Hall Road, on July 7 this year.

Both were charged with wilfully obstructing the free passage along the highway there, which is called Neatmarket.

The pair denied the offence and Miss Kenny, of Ashleigh Gardens, Wymondham, and Miss Love, of Ranson Road, Needham Market, Suffolk, were both acquitted.

It followed a trial at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court on Thursday, October 27 when both women were found not guilty of the offence.

The city's livestock market has become something of a magnet for protests in recent years.

Animal rights activists have been holding regular 'vigils' at the Hall Road market for the last five years, and now attend every fortnightly sale.

Norfolk police officers have permitted protesters to stop livestock trucks on the access road for 30 seconds, filming and photographing their animal occupants.

But at a particularly busy sale day in April this year, including a record entry of around 500 cattle and calves, tempers flared and police made two arrests, one farmer and one protester.

Market chairman Stephen Lutkin said although regular discussions were held between the market directors, protesters and police to ensure peaceful protests, confrontations and arrests were not uncommon.

Speaking back in April, he said: "Everyone has their right to protest - that is fair enough, and I don't have a problem with that.

"But it is getting a bit more aggressive and you get flashpoints at every market."

Last month farmer William Lewis, 60, appeared at Norwich Crown Court having been charged with two counts of dangerous driving on Hall Road, Norwich, on April 2 this year.

It followed confrontations between cattle farmers and vegan protesters at the livestock market.

Lewis, of Church Lane, East Walton, appeared at court on October 10 this year when he pleaded not guilty to both counts.

A trial date of September 18 next year was set by Judge Katharine Moore.