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Man could face two years in jail for trying to get around planning rules

A man could face two years in jail for trying to get around planning rules by declaring his land a sovereign state – and making himself the king.

Steve Ogier, 48, has been involved in a long running dispute with planners after his application to build a small home on his plot in Guernsey was refused.

He responded by declaring the land Everland and made himself its ruler before launching a campaign to have it classified as its own state.

Mr Ogier first took his fight to the Royal Court on Guernsey who said it could not be a country – as it had no population.

He then tried to argue it did have a populous – its worms and insects – which the court again rejected.

But now Mr Ogier, who owns the plot near Castle, Guernsey, has been convicted of five planning offences and has been warned he faces up to two years behind bars.

Steve Ogier, 48, could face two years in jail for trying to get around planning rules by declaring his land a sovereign state - and making himself the king

Steve Ogier, 48, could face two years in jail for trying to get around planning rules by declaring his land a sovereign state - and making himself the king

Mr Ogier responded by declaring the land Everland and made himself its ruler before launching a campaign to have it classified as its own state

Mr Ogier responded by declaring the land Everland and made himself its ruler before launching a campaign to have it classified as its own state

Steve Ogier, 48, could face two years in jail for trying to get around planning rules by declaring his land a sovereign state – and making himself the king

The court heard Mr Ogier initially established Everland in May 2019, and argued that because it was an independent state it was not covered under Guernsey law.

However, the Royal Court ruled to the contrary.

He was ordered to return the land to its previous condition – including moving hundreds of tonnes of soil – but he has not done so.

He also failed to demolish a dry stone wall, remove a shed and vehicles, and to stop using nearby land for storage.

The defendant said he would abide by the compliance notices if it could be proved that the land in question came under Guernsey law, but claimed no-one had been able to do that.

Mr Ogier (pictured in Everland) first took his fight to the Royal Court on Guernsey who said it could not be a country - as it had no population

Mr Ogier (pictured in Everland) first took his fight to the Royal Court on Guernsey who said it could not be a country - as it had no population

Mr Ogier (pictured in Everland) first took his fight to the Royal Court on Guernsey who said it could not be a country – as it had no population

He accepted not complying with the notices, but refused to enter pleas as he said the notices were void for that reason and he was innocent.

Deputy Bailiff Jessica Roland said the court would take that as being not guilty pleas to all five matters.

She told him the case was not a reopening of the planning process or a re-run over jurisdiction, but about compliance with it.

Chris Dunford – for the prosecution – told the court the defendant still considered his land a separate state from Guernsey and as king and law maker had given himself the power to grant planning permission.

But Mr Dunford said that like any other land in Guernsey, it came under the island’s Land Planning and Development Law, which a preliminary hearing had already confirmed.

He said the defendant had an opportunity to appeal the compliance notices served on him, but had not done so.

At a preliminary hearing in November, the Deputy Bailiff ruled that the court did have jurisdiction over Mr Ogier’s land and that the prosecution could continue.

Mr Ogier (pictured in Everland) tried to argue it did have a populous - its worms and insects - which the court again rejected

Mr Ogier (pictured in Everland) tried to argue it did have a populous - its worms and insects - which the court again rejected

Mr Ogier (pictured in Everland) tried to argue it did have a populous – its worms and insects – which the court again rejected

But now Mr Ogier, who owns the plot near Castle, Guernsey, (pictured) has been convicted of five planning offences and has been warned he faces up to two years behind bars

But now Mr Ogier, who owns the plot near Castle, Guernsey, (pictured) has been convicted of five planning offences and has been warned he faces up to two years behind bars

But now Mr Ogier, who owns the plot near Castle, Guernsey, (pictured) has been convicted of five planning offences and has been warned he faces up to two years behind bars

Mr Ogier told the court he believed government was conspiring to get him locked up and he had already been billed £20,400 in costs in relation to previous civil proceedings.

He also claimed he had suffered constant harassment because of the matter, a relationship had failed, he had been arrested and made homeless in the middle of winter.

He then vowed to the court to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Following the guilty verdict, Ms Roland said that as the maximum penalty was two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

The court heard Mr Ogier (pictured in Everland) initially established Everland in May 2019, and argued that because it was an independent state it was not covered under Guernsey law

The court heard Mr Ogier (pictured in Everland) initially established Everland in May 2019, and argued that because it was an independent state it was not covered under Guernsey law

The court heard Mr Ogier (pictured in Everland) initially established Everland in May 2019, and argued that because it was an independent state it was not covered under Guernsey law

Mr Ogier will be sentenced in March and was bailed unconditionally until then.

Speaking at an earlier hearing, he said his ‘country’ would have a population of five ‘voting’ members alongside the insects – and they would all have their own passport.

He said: ‘I wanted to build a small home there, but Guernsey planners wouldn’t allow it and I got to the end of my straw and declared independence.

‘I wanted to get my two bed home with a flat roof, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

Mr Ogier said: 'The judge said one man can't govern himself, I've got my daughter as part of the population as well - Princess Evalyn Ogier (pictured), she's eight'

Mr Ogier said: 'The judge said one man can't govern himself, I've got my daughter as part of the population as well - Princess Evalyn Ogier (pictured), she's eight'

Mr Ogier said: ‘The judge said one man can’t govern himself, I’ve got my daughter as part of the population as well – Princess Evalyn Ogier (pictured), she’s eight’

‘Everland is 150 feet long and about 50 feet wide, I intend to live there.

‘The judge said one man can’t govern himself, I’ve got my daughter as part of the population as well – Princess Evalyn Ogier, she’s eight.

‘I’ve now got a population of five citizens and they’re all voting citizens, that makes them a population.

‘No one is resident currently but they have passports and they have a vote.

‘It’s a legal document, they can use the passport to get a driving license – but it will only be valid in Everland.’

Source: Daily Mail |World News

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