Trav­ellers stand-off

North Wales Weekly News - - WRITTEN BY YOU - BY JEZ HEM­MING

ACAFE owner who block­aded trav­ellers tres­pass­ing on land near his busi­ness claims they of­fered to leave of their own ac­cord but only if he gave them £8,000.

Jonathan Wil­liams-El­lis blocked the squat­ters in with a me­chan­i­cal dig­ger dur­ing the early hours of Mon­day on land near his Puf­fin Cafe next to the A55 at Pen­maen­mawr.

A con­voy of six car­a­vans pitched up at the site on Satur­day af­ter­noon while Mr Wil­liams-El­lis was in Scot­land on hol­i­day.

He re­turned on Sun­day and asked them to move, which the trav­ellers de­clined to do.

So he used a me­chan­i­cal dig­ger to make an earth bar­rier and locked a gate as a block­ade.

Af­ter another car­a­van, a dig­ger and two ve­hi­cles ar­rived in the cafe’s car park on Sun­day he de­cided to take fur­ther ac­tion.

At around 4am on Mon­day he used the dig­ger to block the con­voy in com­pletely.

A tense stand-off en­sued, me­di­ated by North Wales Po­lice, who had been called out by Mr Wil- li­ams-El­lis.

The stand-off ended when the trav­ellers de­cided to leave.

Mr Wil­liams-El­lis said: “One of them said to me this morn­ing ‘we will leave if you give us £8,000’.

“They know the law and I have done this be­cause the al­ter­na­tive is it costs five or six grand to go through the courts.”

Mr Wil­liams-El­lis said he had no choice but to block the trav­ellers in, adding: “I did it be­cause it was my only op­tion.

“I had the choice of los­ing about £500 this morn­ing, or do­ing noth­ing and los­ing thou­sands.”

In to­tal seven car­a­vans, two vans, a trailer with a dig­ger, a pick-up truck, 4x4, Land Rover and two cars took up res­i­dence on the cafe owner’s land.

At least eight po­lice of­fi­cers were in at­ten­dance through­out Mon­day morn­ing.

Mr Wil­liams-El­lis added: “It’s frus­trat­ing I had to take the law into my own hands.

“I told them they could leave but only once they fixed their car­a­vans to their vans. I asked them to leave and they said they could be here for months. I said I think you will find it a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult to­mor­row.

“If you’re not a strong char­ac­ter you can be in­tim­i­dated.”

Po­lice stood by as the trav­ellers fi­nally ac­cepted de­feat and moved on just be­fore 11.30am, hav­ing been on the land for less than 48 hours.

“I de­cided to play them at their own game,” Mr Wil­liams-El­lis said.

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