A FORK-lift truck was driven towards police during a stand-off at the gates of a Ribble Valley caravan site.

Blackburn magistrates heard the vehicle was driven by Thomas Beard who was one of a number of ‘hostile’ men who had refused to let the officers in and made threats towards them and their vehicles.

And the court heard that as a result of his actions Beard had been recalled on prison licence and would be serving 28 days in custody.

Beard, 52, of Acorn Lodge Stables, Longsight Road, Clayton-le-Dale, pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer. He was fined £70 with £20 costs which was set against one day in custody. A charge of threatening to destroy vehicles belonging to Lancashire Constabulary was withdrawn.

Mike Wallbank, prosecuting, said police received a call from a distressed female, Nina Beard, saying she was being threatened by members of her family and one of them was her husband, the defendant.

“Initially two officers attended and they were confronted by locked gates and a group of hostile males,” said Mr Wallbank, adding that they were threatened and told to get off the land.

“Beard said it was his land and their vehicles would be destroyed,” he said.

Beard then went into a compound and reappeared driving a fork lift truck towards the police vehicle.

Mr Wallbank said the police withdrew for their own safety but returned later with other officers and entered the site, arresting ‘a number’ of people, including Beard.

Andrew Church-Taylor, defending, said Beard had been at a pub in Ribchester with friends when he had a call saying a family member and his wife were falling out and it would be a good idea for him to return home.

He told the women to calm down, but Mr Church-Taylor added: “Unbeknown to him a call had been made from the site to the police alleging all sorts of things.”

Mr Church-Taylor said: “The more insistent the police were that they were coming in the more determined he became that they weren’t.”