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Peace campaigner wins £15K in compensation after she was mown down outside RAF Menwith Hill

A PEACE campaigner who was mown down by a car outside a US military base in North Yorkshire has won £15,000 in compensation for her injuries and is back on the picket line.

Barbara Penny, 71, is among a dedicated band of activists who regularly target RAF Menwith Hill.

On August 11 2015, Ms Penny was demonstrating outside the base when she was run down by a car driven a member of the base’s US civilian staff, Steven Higgins.

Ms Penny, a member of the Harrogate Quakers, suffered a badly-broken ankle, head and other injuries.

Higgins was arrested and accused of causing grievous bodily harm, but was acquitted at Leeds Crown court.

Ms Penny has won £15,000 in compensation for her injuries in an out-of-court settlement and is now back in action demonstrating at Menwith Hill.

She said: “Nearly four years after this happened, I have finally felt able to return as a witness for peace at the spy base.”

Her case was fought by Harrogate-based solicitors, Truth Legal.

Her 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.

“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.”

Weekly protests take place at the base every Tuesday evening.

Despite its name, the base is run by the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA), and is linked to US spy satellites, which gather military, political and economic information that is relayed to the Pentagon.

The base, which played a key role in US-led attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, is staffed by more than 1,000 US military and civilian personnel.

It is defended by British Ministry of Defence police armed with automatic weapons.

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