By Kirsty Topping
A MAN who has proclaimed himself First Minister of a tiny island off the coast of Shetland is to be hauled before the court charged with road traffic offences.
Suffolk-Born Stuart Hall, 68, is due to be taken before a justice system he refused to recognise for failing to register his
“consular vehicle’ with the DVLA.
The pensioner has been fighting to declare independence from the UK since raising a flag on a tiny rocky outcrop called Forvik.
He was apprehended after parking his nine-year-old silver Mercedes van on one of the main streets in Lerwick and will now appear at the town’s Sheriff court
Hill refuses to recognize British authorities including the DVLA, and HM Revenue and Customs and has declared that his vehicles are not subject to UK law and therefore do not have to be registered or display a UK tax disc.
He has already received penalties from HM Revenue and Customs in disputes over income tax and council tax.
Instead he displays his own
“Forvikian’ tax disc on the vehicle, which also bears the Forvik flag and the number plate FREE ZE1.
A spokeswoman for Northern Constabulary said:
“I can conform that a 68-year-old man has been charged in connection with a number of road traffic offences, including not holding tax or insurance. He will be appearing in court at the end of the month. “
A spokesman for the DVLA refused to comment on individual cases but stressed that users of British roads need to display a tax disc.
Hill did not want to discuss his arrest but acknowledged he was currently in disputes with several UK agencies over sovereignty issues.
“It’s all part of my campaign to make the UK and Scotland actually justify the basis of their authority in Shetland,’ he said.
Hill cites a 15th century deal between King Charles of Denmark and King James III of Scotland, where the Danish king
“pawned’ the islands in lieu of a dowry for his daughter, as evidence that Britain has no Hold over Shetland.
He says the loan was never repaid and no agreement was ever signed , meaning that Shetland has never been part of Scotland or subject to UK jurisdiction.
Hill arrived in Shetland a decade ago after a failed attempt to circumnavigate the UK in a homemade boat – an endeavour which earned him the nickname “Captain Calamity”.
He declared Forvik, which lies off the coast of Papa Stour in Shetland, as independent in the summer of 2008.
Since then he has flouted planning regulations to build a makeshift house on the island, which is heavily battered by the elements, and tried to create a harbour from old tyres bolted to the rocks.
He now hopes to create dedicated passports and driving licences – despite a lack of roads on the island – and also hopes to mint his own currency.
Also in the pipeline are dedicated stamps and plans to have oil companies carry out exploratory work on the seabed.
While many see him barmy, hundreds of people have already signed up to become honorary Forvik citizens – paying 20 a time for the privilege.
Hills website also features the chance to buy tshirts,
“FK’ car stickers and even Forvik email addresses.