Evicted Willington animal sanctuary owner emerges after barricading herself inside for six days

The Northern Echo: Paula Campbell and one of her sons, James Ewing, leave the farm Paula Campbell and one of her sons, James Ewing, leave the farm

A WOMAN emerged from her former animal sanctuary home this afternoon (Wednesday, April 2) after spending six days barricaded inside.

Paula Campbell, 47, and one of her sons, James Ewing, 22, walked out of the famhouse at Milkup Farm in Willington, County Durham - at the request of her father.

However, she remained defiant and vowed to return.

Ms Campbell was allowed back to the farm on Friday (March 28) - from where she once ran Rainbow Ark Animal Sanctuary - to collect personal belongings.

This was the first time she had returned since being evicted in January after a long-running financial dispute.

However, once inside she barricaded herself in.

Supporters gathered each day to try to deliver water, food and medical supplies but said they were denied access by K9 Search Solutions, which is providing security and site management on behalf of the Redstone Mortgage Company.

This afternoon (Wednesday, April 2) Malcolm Campbell, 72, was allowed onto the site with police to persuade his daughter and grandson to leave.

Mr Campbell, of Durham, said: “They didn’t have any water or food.

“They wanted me to go in and to put food and water down 50 yards from the house. Paula would then have had to come out of the house to get it with the security guards there.

“I’m relieved that they got out. It was horrendous and it was just too much for me.”

Ms Campbell said: “We have been deprived of water and food. I’m dehydrated as we only had half a bottle of water left.

“I’m just trying to stand up for what I believe in. They tried to throw me out of my home, but I’m going back.

“They don’t frighten me. I’m a fighter and this is not over by a long way.”

A spokesman for TLT Solicitors, who represent the mortgage company, said: “TLT is advising Redstone Mortgages in relation to the repossession of Milkup Bank Farm following mortgage arrears.

“For reasons of client confidentiality we can't comment further.”

Ms Campbell has insisted that the repossession of the farm is illegal and that she had met all mortgage repayments.

Durham Police said it was a civil matter so they were unable to intervene.

However, an officer at the site said the couple had been free to leave the farm at any point for food and water.

Jayne Campbell, Ms Campbell’s daughter, said: “I’m incredibly proud of my mother and that she stood her ground.”

 

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