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Forvik campaigner in the cells

INDEFATIGABLE self-styled campaigner for an independent Shetland, Stuart Hill, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon in Lerwick for alleged motoring offences which he hopes will land him in court.

Mr Hill, who has claimed independence from the UK and Europe for the small island of Forvik, off Shetland’s west coast, has been challenging the authorities for several years about their sovereignty over the isles.

In his latest excapade, the 68 year old was arrested in his Mercedes van sporting a FREE ZE1 number plate, which he describes as a consular vehicle for the free state of Forvik.

While police encircled his vehicle outside JB’s Autostore, on North Road, Mr Hill called Shetland News to explain what was happening. His phone went dead as he was heard telling officers they had no right to enter his vehicle.

Shortly afterwards a Northern Constabulary spokeswoman confirmed that “a 68 year old man is to be reported to the procurator fiscal in Lerwick on a number of alleged road traffic offences.”

This is the second “consular” vehicle to be confiscated from Mr Hill. According to his website www.forvik.com, his first consular vehicle was impounded on 15 June following his arrest in Lerwick.

Two years ago the police seized and destroyed a Land Rover with Forvik registration he had parked in a passing place in Sandness, not far from his island residence.

Mr Hill says that he can not produce UK documentation to reclaim his vehicles because he does not recognise the government’s authority over Shetland.

He adds that he has been trying to be taken to court to challenge the country’s legal authority over him for the past nine years, so to be formally charged would be the culmination of almost a decade’s effort.

Stuart Hill earned the nickname Captain Calamity after his attempt to single-handedly circumnavigate Britain in a home-made “unsinkable” boat led to several coastguard call outs. He was finally plucked out of the sea during a storm off Shetland 10 years ago and has made the islands his home ever since.