*Press Release – June 2019*
A HARROGATE woman is now successfully rebuilding her life after winning her compensation fight for injuries sustained while being part of a peace demonstration at Menwith Hill.
The legal victory marked the end of a long-running ordeal for 71-year-old Barbara Penny, who alleged an employee of the RAF early warning base deliberately ran her over with his car as he exited the site.
The reflexologist, and member of the Harrogate Quakers, suffered a badly-broken ankle, head injuries and damage to her lymph channels (the vessels which help the body fight infections) in the collision, which took place in the evening of August 11 2015.
Her fight for justice was supported by the personal injury team at Harrogate-based ethical solicitors, Truth Legal, which secured an out-of-court settlement of £15,000 compensation for Barbara.
The head of its Personal Injury team, solicitor Helen Beaumont, said: “Barbara sustained major injuries in the incident, which necessitated admission to hospital and a long journey of recovery to heal both the physical and mental scars of that day.
“Through no fault of her own, what should have been a day of peace ended in hospital in the most traumatic and painful way for her.
“Everyone at Truth Legal is delighted for Barbara that she has been compensated for the injuries she received on a day that regrettably has haunted her ever since.
“The settlement vindicates Barbara’s long fight for justice and, crucially, has gone some way to helping her to finally draw a line under the episode and, thankfully, rebuild her life once again.”
Barbara said: “Nearly three years after this happened, I have finally felt able to return to supporting the Witness for Peace campaign at the spy base – being very careful to be nowhere near American drivers who work there, in case they think they can injure protestors and get away with it.”
Barbara was a member of the long-established Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB). Now known as the Menwith Hill Accountability Campaign (MHAC), the group has staged a weekly peaceful demonstration opposing the presence of American forces at the base – which has been described as the largest electronic monitoring system in the world.
The way it demonstrates has been agreed with North Yorkshire Police and facilitated by the Ministry of Defence police and protestors maintain that there is usually a good rapport between them and people coming into and out of the base.
The driver of the car was charged with grievous bodily harm by the Crown Prosecution Service following the incident. Despite admitting his car struck Barbara, he was found not guilty of that criminal charge by a jury in a trial at Leeds Crown Court.
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