A PEACE campaigner who has been arrested some 500 times since 1980 has seen a case over her allegedly breaching controversial police powers dismissed on a point of law.

Lindis Percy, who has helped lead protests outside the largest US spy base outside America - RAF Menwith Hill, in North Yorkshire - almost every week for 16 years, said she had been angered when she was arrested and charged by Ministry of Defence (MoD) Police with breaching Dispersal Orders on March 8 and April 15.

Harrogate Magistrates Court heard the co-founder of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases had declined to comply with instructions given by MoD officers, who were trying to move the protest away from the entrance of the top secret base.

Documents recently leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden have suggested high-powered machines at Menwith Hill are used by the US for intelligence-led drone strikes in countries they have not declared war against.

Magistrates saw CCTV recordings of the rally and were told by Ms Percy, who denied the offence and represented herself, that Dispersal Orders could only be made in a public place.

The prosecution said while the entrance was MoD property, the area was public as there are no barriers and it features a police station, to which there is public access.

Giving evidence, MoD police officer Sergeant Finlinson said protestors had been arrested for entering the area, which magistrates said indicated there had been an understanding the area was restricted.

In a finding of fact statement, the magistrates stated: “There is a fence with barbed wire. It is obvious that the area is a secure base. There are armed officers in the area. We also heard that there is a sign in the area referring to the Official Secrets Act. None of this suggests that this is a public place.”

After the charges were dropped, Ms Percy said: “This is yet another spurious arrest and charge brought by the MoD police against me. Once again this unaccountable force has abused and misused their powers and the law.

“It was important to challenge the use of Dispersal Orders and to stop the inappropriate use of them against peaceful protestors”.