Devon landowner denies 'explosion' threat

Exeter Crown Court Exeter Crown Court heard Linda Elt's actions were a "token gesture"

Related Stories

A woman has denied threatening to blow up contractors and council officers who arrived to clear buildings on her land.

Exeter Crown Court heard Linda Elt parked her van across the gateway of the site in Devon and threw a lit object towards fuel poured on the ground, but it failed to ignite.

Ms Elt, 65, denies affray and threatening to cause criminal damage with intent to endanger life.

She said her actions were a "token gesture" driven by desperation.

'Left homeless'

The court heard, she had earlier sent a letter and email to Mid Devon District Council making a threat.

She said she had been left homeless and was living in the back of her van with her dogs.

Start Quote

I did not intend to endanger anyone”

End Quote Linda Elt

Council contractors were sent to remove a caravan and temporary buildings from land near Chawleigh which she had inherited from her late husband. Their action followed a long-running planning dispute.

She told the court she was making arrangements for the land to be cleared when she learned the contractors and officials were on site.

Ms Elt said she went back to her land to try to stop the contractors but "did not intend to set light to anything".

She said: "I had my dogs in my van and I was not going to set light to it.

"It was just a token gesture. I did not intend to endanger anyone. I never hurt anyone."

The trial continues.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Devon

Weather

Plymouth

5 °C 0 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.