Man jailed for off-grid home

Asa Pryke who we have written about before on this site, has been jailed after he lost his job, ran out of money and moved his family into a field in Essex which had been in his wife’s family for 300 years.

Last week, Asa had written to me saying the risk of a jail sentence was “fading fast” and speaking about Appeal court Judges’ contempt for the local council’s actions against him:

Hi Nick
thought I would give an update on our situation. At the court of appeal 2/10/2012 the judges said that the order as constructed was correct and that our human rights had been considered at the committal hearing. However the two appeal judges did state ‘That on paper the council had indeed obtained what they want,but no judge certainly neither of us (judges) would even implement such a ridiculous request!’ (over a minor infringement that an apology could have settled and prevented this waste of taxpayers money, we had Legal Aid granted because of the threat of imprisonment).
I am as i write (awaiting the outcome of the councils application on the 5th november to obtain arrest warrants for our removal and detention)no such order has been granted.Altough with immense stress and anticipation the threat fades daily.regards Asa

Asa, 47, and his wife Gwen, 48, pitched the campsite after their nursery business went bust forcing them to leave their rented home.
But despite the fact that the two-acre plot has been in the Prykes’ family for over 300 years, council chiefs told them they would still need planning permission, even to set up camp.
The couple and their three teenage children turned to the council for help but say they were only offered a flat that was too small to house a family of five.

But a county court judge has now jailed Mr Pryke and also warned his wife that she would be put behind bars for four months if the field is not cleared. The couple were not jailed simultaneously because of their three teenage children.

Speaking before the ruling Mr Pryke, who is was working as a specialist insurance broker until his sentence, said: ‘We are fighting to stay on our land and fighting for what we believe in.
‘This country needs ‘doers’ to get out of the mess it is in, not just people who are happy just to take handouts.
‘We would rather stand on our own feet and live on our land than take taxpayers’ money for housing support.
‘How can making us homeless make any sense when we will be forced to live off state handouts?’
The couple were hoping to get planning permission from Colchester Borough Council for their eco-friendly home.
Mr Pryke added: “We would even be prepared to build one home and then give land away for another for social housing.”

18 Responses

  1. a local couple went through the same thing. They had a small holding and kept chickens and goats. they grew their own food. The council decided that there cabin looked an eyesore and demanded it be torn down. The couple resisted. It wasnt like they lived in view of anyone else, thy were not hurting anyone. I went past the other day, and the council must have won, it was all gone. i felt so sad for them. This is how we should be living. I can barley afford my house. i do not want it. I want to be free. I feel so sorry for this couple. Its true that we are slaves to the system. freedom is an illusion.

  2. Call the Rutherford Institute, they are in an area where they are subject to a large lawsuit. If that family wanted to take them (CITY) to court. Private property is not subject to improvement permits if it is a non-permanent structure. If I remember correctly. That is extortion and racketeering.

  3. Disgusting. I hate our government. They are so damn farcical. I won’t go on anymore about that or I will write an essay. These people weren’t hurting anyone and they own the land. Government are crooks. They will wreck our countryside and next our wilderness, it’s fine so long as you buy from them or businesses benefiting them but they make it hard as hell to allow people to set up on their own.

  4. As long as u can find someone to give u a rent receipt proving u live some where else(if u know what I mean) there is nothing they can do. Check it out. There is no law against staying as long as u like on ur recreational land. That’s the law.
    Hope this helps.

  5. This is absurd! It makes you feel you are living in a Prison Planet. God want us to live in freedom and peace to love and serve our Him and our brothers. We all have basic human rights given by our Creator to have a piece of ground, water, away to feed ourselves and a dwelling.

  6. It certainly seems as though there will be some sort of disconnect in societal order coming soon, what with the amount of media sponsored ill will….taxation without representation!

  7. Arrested for living how Humans should be living. I hate England.
    The problem is that the government want us to live in expensive houses that take our entire lives to pay off. Harvesting money and labour from you. They want you dependent on THEIR extortionately priced food stores, fuel, electrical, gas, water supply’s. They want us to live like pathetic slaves.

  8. City Councils are the banes of society. I just wrote on the local news page about the fact that they’re generally a bunch of traitors and sellouts. Cowards and “hand-wringers” the likes of which you used to see in those old westerns. These are the same bunch of scum who sit idly by while Islam infests your communities and sells out to the Public Employee Unions who turn around and bankrupt those they’re supposed to “serve” and protect. I mentioned those “Audio Terrorists” in their Boomer Cars and how the city councils and the cops have all but abandoned the citizens to these bullies who have destroyed neighborhoods quality of life and peace and quiet.

  9. Don’t any one get angry any more about the situation going on with so called land of freedom? A person never owns land cause there will be always taxes on the land.

  10. It goes to show how the Government hates the freedom of the people. All i see is restrictions to make the people live the way they see fit. GOD BLESS AMERICA

  11. I’ve often thought about moving off the grid but I guess deep in the Alaskan wilderness or Rocky Mountains undetected is the way to go. Maybe build a tree house high up in the trees or some place hidden?

  12. This sounds about right, I lived in a caravan on my families land and had hastle from the council, was homeless at the time. Move off for 24 hours and move back on again, you have wheels. The council will have to start the whole procedure again from scratch, moving is a bit of a pain I know but gives you more time. Looking at your vans, see if you can install a woodburning stove, as it will eliminate your condensation. If you don’t like the idea of a wood burner in your caravan you can always make a yurt, very comfortable, secure and easily transportable.

  13. I understand the need for building permits (so that work is done safely and to code) and also the reason for zoning permits (so someone doesn’t pitch a tent in a residential zone). I don’t understand though why a man can’t do as he pleases on his own rural land. I certainly don’t see the need for jailing in this case at all. I live in the USA where laws/ordinances may be different- but jailing this man seems kind of fascist to me.
    I applaud the man for taking the stance that he would rather do whatever it takes to survive instead of taking a government handout… People like that should not be punished. But they are- seemingly for no better reason than that they are doing something that is out of the norm.

  14. that is horrible to hear that the justice system have failed them and all of us. my thoughts are with them.
    there dose need to be a change in the laws as the world is changing the law and enforcement need to keep up.
    hope the family stay safe.

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