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Report on incident at Low Moor Farm 15/12/1998

See also report of court case Jan 1999

Report from Mike O'Carroll 16.12.98     contact Tel/Fax 01609 882 501

 Report on incident at Low Moor Farm 15.12.98

According to Andrew Norfolk of Yorkshire Post and from consultation with North Yorkshire Police, it appears that National Grid or its representatives have reported to the police and press that an incident took place at about 11.00 a.m. on 15.12.98 at Low Moor Farm. The incident was reported in the Yorkshire Post on 16.12.98.

From those sources it appears National Grid claim that

a) NGC surveyors entered Low Moor Farm with the farmer's agreement;

b) a fork lift truck was driven at three NGC employees hitting all three, knocking at least one to the ground and injuring one;

c) the employee was treated at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton;

d) the injuries were bruising to the right forearm;

e) the police were informed by NGC with a view to a formal complaint.

I have today spoken with the farmer's son James Thompson whose account is:

a) when he arrived at the farm the main farm access driveway was blocked by a large low-loader so he had to go round the back way to get in; his father arrived about ten minutes later;

b) he was concerned because there were lambs in a field;

c) about 8 NGC personnel were active on the farm without the permission or knowledge of the farmer; they had said they were coming on Monday afternoon "like it or not" although the farmer had protested it was too wet; in the event they arrived unannounced Tuesday morning;

d) he (James Thompson) felt the number of people over the farm was overwhelming and overpowering;

e) he approached them as their sampling vehicle was being driven on the land and asked them to stop;

f) they continued driving the vehicle which made contact with him, pushing him along at about 2 mph;

g) he asked to see their paperwork but they showed nothing; they behaved in an off-hand manner as if they could do as they pleased; they stood there and said they were in now so they would not give way; they first ignored requests to move the low-loader and seemed to expect they could leave it there for hours;

h) the low loader on the drive was blocking the farmers' access so they had to waste time while NGC backed it out to allow a farm vehicle in;

i) James Thompson drove a fork lift truck carrying sheep hay and had to cross the road and enter a field; two NGC men were leaning on a car while a third stood in the entrance to the field obstructing the fork lift truck, causing James Thompson to veer around him within the space available, and the NGC man stepped aside; no-one was hit and no-one fell to the ground;

j) James Thompson then went in to the field with the truck and fed the lambs; on returning through the gateway the NGC man shouted "you bloody bastard" and James Thompson didn't dare get out to shut the gate; he felt intimidated especially with such a large gang of NGC men.

Mike O'Carroll 16.12.98