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Three in court after Brighton police squat raid
UPDATE: Three men have appeared in court charged with squatting a Brighton flat in one of the first cases of its kind in the UK.
Yesterday a group of people superglued themselves together and another two hid on a roof as police used new powers to evict them from a residential property above a shop.
This morning, Dirk Duputell, 29, Alistair Cannell, 22 and Tobias Sedwick, 22 all of no fixed address and unemployed, appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court charged with squatting in a residential building, abstracting electricity and obstructing a police officer.
The new offence can be heard at either magistrates or crown court. Today, the bench set a further hearing on October 30 to commit the case to crown court.
The trio were all given unconditional bail. The address they gave is the lighting shop underneath the residential flat that the alleged offences took place at.
Duputell was wearing purple t-shirt and square glasses and sported a dyed blond Mohawk hairstyle. Cannell wore a yellow t-shirt, and Sedwick a white shirt and had a dyed orange and pink Mohawk.
In a game of cat and mouse lasting more than eight hours, more than 20 officers were at the scene on the corner of London Road and Rose Hill Terrace in Brighton.
Protesters on the ground shouted abuse at the police as they moved into the former lighting shop, which had been heavily barricaded.
Officers in riot gear broke down the door and found three men who had glued their hands together around a joist in the attic of a loft in the premises.
A specialist team had to be called in to unstick the trio. Three men were later carried out of the house and arrested under the police’s new powers.
Another two, a man and a woman, took to the roof in black hoodies and scarves as they successfully avoided capture.
It was the first eviction in the country using new powers after Hove MP Mike Weatherley pushed through a bill criminalising squatting in residential premises from September 1.